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Development of a Robotic Platform for Teaching Model-Based Design Techniques in Dynamics and Control Program

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Mechatronics in the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.480.1 - 22.480.13

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Paper Authors


Bingen Yang University of Southern California

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Dr. Bingen Yang is Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, who has taught courses (including AME 301, 420 and 451) and conducted research in the area of dynamics and control at USC for 21 years. He has expertise in modeling, analysis, and simulation of dynamic systems and structures. He has developed more than 300,000 lines of MATLAB codes for simulation of dynamic and control systems, which have been used in some courses taught by him. Dr. Yang is the author of the book “Stress, Strain, and Structural Dynamics: An Interactive Handbook of Formulas, Solutions, and MATLAB Toolboxes”.

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Cheng-Yuan Jerry Chen University of Southern California

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Dr. Cheng‐Yuan Jerry Chen is full‐time Lecturer of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, who has involved with AME laboratory teaching for more than eight years in AME341, 441, and 443 classes. His expertise is not only in analytical and computational of dynamic and control systems, but also in experimental and laboratory hardware implementations. He has more than 20 years of advanced machining experience and has accomplished enormous projects in mechanical and electrical designs. He is currently the head leader of the instructional laboratory in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department.

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Development of a Robotic Platform for Teaching Model-Based Design Techniques in Dynamics and Control Program AbstractDesign of complex dynamic systems requires the development of mathematical models withvarying complexities, extensive simulation studies for validation of the proposed models,synthesis and analysis of control algorithms, verification of the performance the closed-loopsystems via numerical simulation, and “hardware in the loop” simulations. As a modern industrystandard, Model-Based Design (MBD) techniques allow for relatively inexpensive designiterations by manipulating parameters of the simulation model instead of costly and timeconsuming direct experimentation on hardware set-ups. Thus, MBD provides the designer withthe ultimate playground for rapid testing of ideas and for investigating “what if” scenarios ontheir desktop or in the laboratory, so as thoroughly exploring the entire design space. It istherefore imperative to make MBD the central philosophy for teaching courses in the area ofdynamics and control in mechanical engineering education.This paper introduces an on-going project of undergraduate curriculum innovation in ourdepartment, which is sponsored by Mathworks Inc. and our engineering school. The objective ofthe project is to develop a FANUC robotic platform, by which we shall significantly modify twoexisting undergraduate laboratory courses in dynamics and control: Senior Projects Laboratory(100-110 students per year), and Control Systems Laboratory (60-70 students per year). TheFANUC robotic platform in development consists of a FANUC robot, an interface between therobot and MATLAB and its toolboxes, and the necessary hardware and software for modelingand feedback control of the robot system (Fig. 1).In this paper, we present the initial results obtained in this project, including those on thefollowing issues: development of an accurate model of the robotic by importing 3-D data fromSolidworks to SimMechanics; real-time simulation and control system implementation viaconversion of the SimMechanics models into C code for Hardware-in-the-Loop tests using Real-Time Workshop; controller design and system-level analysis via Matlab and Simulink; andexperimental verification. Two sets of control experiments were performed to demonstratecontrol system development for robotic manipulators: open-loop inverse dynamics control design,and basic joint space control design, which is a combination of open-loop torques computedusing inverse dynamics and closed-loop PD and PID controllers.These modified lab courses and related precursor courses, expose students to different aspects ofmodeling and simulation at an early stage of their studies. We plan to continue exposingstudents to the various aspects of Model-Based Design (MBD) techniques until the conclusion oftheir undergraduate education.Figure 1. A FANUC robotic platform

Yang, B., & Chen, C. J. (2011, June), Development of a Robotic Platform for Teaching Model-Based Design Techniques in Dynamics and Control Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.

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