June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Electrical and Computer
22.619.1 - 22.619.16
Enhancing Mechatronics Education using Model-Based Techniques and Mathworks ToolsThis paper describes our current efforts toward developing lecture materials, demo tools, andlaboratory modules for enhancing an existing non-required course in Embedded Control andMechatronics to increase the enrollment in the course and to improve students’ learning of thesubject. Model-based techniques are considered for teaching the course using Matlab, Simulink,and a variety of other Mathworks toolboxes.It has been observed that presenting examples in teaching and offering hands-on laboratoryexercises improve the students’ learning experience, especially in technical subjects. However,the development and implementation of effective examples and laboratory experiments are bothtime-consuming and expensive. Model-based techniques using Matlab, Simulink, and otherMathworks toolboxes provide a systematic and flexible approach to teaching Mechatronicsystems that can be achieved within constrained university budgets.Lecture materials were revised to include a number of webinars to introduce the use of variousMathworks toolboxes for modeling and automated control design. Example models weredeveloped using Simscape and Simulink for demos within lectures, including a dc motor, aninverted pendulum, a segway, and a differential-drive mobile robot. Several electro-mechanicalsystems were also set up for lab experiments, including a dc motor speed control system, aninverted pendulum balancer, a flexible beam vibration controller, and an acoustic levitationsystem. A number of these tools were developed and used in an exploratory Model-BasedControl Design course during summer 2010 with seven graduate students enrolled in the course.The processes for modeling, control design, and implementation using an embeddedmicrocontroller is presented for the speed control of a dc motor, as a typical example. It wasobserved that using model-based approach with Mathworks tools all students became moreengaged in the course and became more confident with the processes involved in the design andimplementation of embedded control systems.Additional demo tools and modules are now being developed and refined for teaching theexisting Embedded Control and Mechatronics course using model-based approach withMathworks tools. A GUI is being developed to facilitate the automatic programming of anembedded microcontroller for control implementation. Improvements in the technical knowledgeof the students and their confidence in carrying out laboratory experiments throughout the coursewill be used as the primary indicator to assess the effectiveness of these new teaching tools.
Pourboghrat, F., & Ramachandran, N., & Vasu, A., & Sadahalli, A. S., & Banala, P., & Campa, G. (2011, June), Enhancing Mechatronics Education using Model-Based Techniques and Mathworks Tools Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17900
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