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Development of a Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory for Teaching and Research

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Computers in the Laboratory

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.452.1 - 25.452.15



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Paper Authors


Biswanath Samanta Georgia Southern University

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Biswanath Samanta is in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga. His expertise and research interests include broad areas of system dynamics and control, robotics, mechatronics, intelligent systems, advanced signal processing, prognostics and health management, and applications of computational intelligence in engineering and biomedicine. Samanta has developed and taught numerous courses in these areas and supervised students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He has more than 100 refereed research articles published by professional bodies like ASME, IMechE, AIAA, and IEEE. The papers are regularly cited by independent researchers in their publications (more than 1,200 citations). He is a senior member of IEEE.

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Jonathan G. Turner Georgia Southern University

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Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering

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Development of A Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory for Teaching and ResearchAbstract: This paper reports the development of a laboratory for undergraduate and graduatelevel teaching and research in the areas of Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems at the author’suniversity. The laboratory equipment covers mechatronic instrumentation, control and mobilerobotics. The broad topics include sensors, actuators, data acquisition, modeling, simulation,analysis, design and implementation of controllers, and swarm robotics. The lab has 8 workstations each equipped with a DC power supply, a digital multi-meters, a function generator, adigital storage oscilloscopes and a Pentium 4 HT PC. In addition to these basic devices, the lab iswell equipped with a number of educational hardware platforms including (i) mechatronicssensor modules, (ii) DC servomotors, (iii) multi-degree-of-freedom systems, both translationaland rotational, along with inverted pendulum as accessories, and (iv) magnetic levitation module.The lab has another 12 PCs equipped with National Instruments (NI) data acquisition cards ofdifferent capabilities including multi-purpose I/O: 6010M, 6251M, and reconfigurable I/O7831R. The lab has NI ELVIS II platforms for interfacing the mechatronics and DC servomotormodules with PCs. All the computers have latest software like Matlab (R2011b) with alltoolboxes and LabView 2010. For rapid control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loopinvestigations, the lab has xPC real-time target platforms (Educational Kit and Performance)with accessories and I/O modules. The lab has mobile robotic platforms of different shapes, sizesand capabilities: BoEBot from Parallax Inc, NXT from LEGO Mindstorms, Create from iRobot,e-puck from EPFL, Switzerland and Khepra III from K-team, Switzerland. In addition to thesefully operational mobile robots, the lab has open platforms with the mobile base and hardwarefor developing and implementing project based robots.The lab is currently being used for three courses on Mechatronics: Introduction to Mechatronics(undergraduate) and Mechatronics I and Mechatronics II (graduate) in Mechanical Engineeringat the author’s university. In each course, students are required to do experiments related to thetopics covered in the classes in the first 10 weeks. In the remaining weeks of the semester,students work on the projects integrating the topics covered in the course and making use of thehardware and software support available in the lab. In addition to these courses, the lab is alsoutilized in conducting undergraduate and graduate research on mechatronics and intelligentsystems. The data acquisition and analysis are mainly conducted in NI Labview environment.The real-time implementation is achieved in Matlab/Simulink environment with xPC target. Thelab helps reinforce the understanding of the course material through analysis, design,development and implementation of control strategies. The robotic platforms are used fordeveloping and testing intelligent control algorithms for swarm robotics in dynamicenvironment. Students work on both traditional control algorithms like PID, phase lag-leadcontrollers as well as artificial intelligence based techniques like artificial neural networks(ANN) and fuzzy logic. The positive responses and performances of the students confirm theeffectiveness of the lab.

Samanta, B., & Turner, J. G. (2012, June), Development of a Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory for Teaching and Research Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21210

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