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Implementing Cpld Based Interfaces For Sensors And Actuators In A Mechatronic Design Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.695.1 - 9.695.14



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Paper Authors

author page

Nicholas Krouglicof

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Implementing CPLD-Based Interfaces for Sensors and Actuators in a Mechatronics Design Course Nicholas Krouglicof Union College, Mechanical Engineering Department E-Mail:

Abstract Complex Programmable Logic Devices (CPLDs) are a class of programmable logic device that are commonly used to implement complex digital designs on a single integrated circuit. Current applications of CPLDs in the field of computer engineering include the implementation of bus controllers, address decoders, communication interfaces, etc. This paper outlines a novel application for CPLDs in the field of mechatronics. A low cost, microcontroller-based data acquisition system has been developed that incorporates both a user programmable microcontroller and a user reconfigurable CPLD. The CPLD basically provides reconfigurable digital I/O that permits the implementation of interfaces for smart sensors and actuators. Typical applications include quadrature decoder/counter interfaces for optical encoders, stepper motors controllers and Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) motor drives. By incorporating a CPLD that supports In-System Programmability (ISP) the target device can be reprogrammed by the user for a variety of applications without removing it from the host system.

Introduction Mechatronics can be defined as a design philosophy which encourages engineers to integrate precision mechanical engineering, digital and analog electronics, control theory and computer engineering in the design of “intelligent” products, systems and processes rather than engineering each set of requirements separately. The advantages of the mechatronics approach to design are shorter design cycles, lower costs, and elegant solutions to design problems that can not easily be solved by staying within the bounds of the traditional engineering disciplines.

With an underlying focus on integration, the Mechatronics Design course (MER-180) at Union College emphasizes the fundamental technologies on which contemporary mechatronic designs are based: sensors and actuators, system dynamics and control, analog and digital electronics, microcontroller technology, interface electronics and real- time programming. The laboratory sessions focus on small, hands-on interdisciplinary design projects in which small teams of students configure, design, and implement a succession of mechatronic subsystems, leading to system integration in a final project.

For example, as an introduction to digital design, students apply the fundamental principals of combinatorial and sequential logic to the design of a quadrature decoder/counter circuit that is used to interface an incremental optical encoder to a microcontroller. The design is implemented using the appropriate software development tools and tested on a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD). Complex

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Krouglicof, N. (2004, June), Implementing Cpld Based Interfaces For Sensors And Actuators In A Mechatronic Design Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13813

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