June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.143.1 - 24.143.3
Affordable Lab Kit for Controls Education (Poster)This research will develop an affordable laboratory kit for multi-disciplinary controls educationat the undergraduate and graduate levels. The literature shows that laboratory experiments helpstudents understand and apply course material. The goal was to design each kit to be assembledfor under $100 while replicating the educational functionality of a lab bench one finds in auniversity controls laboratory. This kit will also replace expensive equipment with an affordablealternative that can be easily shipped anywhere in the world and used by students with anycomputer. This greatly enhances the accessibility of the laboratory experience to students inbudget-strapped campus laboratories and those participating in distance education or massiveopen online courses.My kit design initially consists of a Raspberry Pi (a fully functional ARM-based computer that isthe size of a deck of cards), a servo motor, and the various components required for the first labexercises. These are off-the-shelf components, selected to limit cost. The development of theinverted pendulum control kit was developed in three steps: (1) integration of motors, RaspberryPi, and moving parts; (2) integration of sensors and data capture; and (3) implementation of thecontroller.(1) A rotary servo is used to support the double-inverted pendulum lab exercises. The input isdriven from an output of the Raspberry Pi board through an external circuit. Then, the physicalattachments were designed to work within the technical limits of the hardware.(2) In the inverted pendulum exercise, the servo itself senses and reports its own position while acircular potentiometer reports the pendulum’s position. The output of each of these sensors istransmitted back to the Raspberry Pi for display to the user and input to the control law.Software tools such as MATLAB and LabVIEW were used to assist in the data collection anddisplay to the user.(3) The control laws used to control the inverted pendulum were developed to determine the bestway to implement the algorithm on the Raspberry Pi. Multiple techniques for implementation ofthe control law were explored including model based development with MATLAB andSimulink, implementation in C++ or Python, and implementation in LabVIEW. This processaids in the development of the pre-lab assignments and lab instructions for the students.Through testing was performed after each step to ensure feasibility of the implementation.
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