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Undergraduate Controls Laboratory Experience

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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

ECE Laboratory Development & Innovations

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1331.1 - 9.1331.19



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Paper Authors

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Chiu Choi

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

Session 3432

Undergraduate Controls Laboratory Experience

Chiu H. Choi, Ph.D., P.E.

University of North Florida Division of Engineering Electrical Engineering Program


The purpose of this paper is to share the educational experience offered to the students through a controls laboratory course in the electrical engineering program at the University of North Florida. The laboratory experience included the design and prototyping of proportional, proportional- integral, proportional-derivative, and PID controllers as operational amplifier circuits and also as stand-alone C programs that ran on Motorola's M68HC912B32 microcontrollers. Both types of controllers (analog and digital) were applied to a single shaft mechanical plant driven by a dc motor. Through these controllers, the students attained precise position and speed control of the motor. They also observed the difference in the performances of the analog and digital controllers and identified the advantages and disadvantages of each type. This paper describes the labs developed for the students, the lab results, and the students’ learning experience. Student evaluations for this lab course were very favorable. Through this lab course and two control theory courses, the students gained good understanding of the fundamentals of feedback control systems.

I. Introduction

This section gives a brief discussion on the motivation of developing the controls laboratory course and the enhancement of the controls area in the electrical engineering curriculum at the University of North Florida.

It was the wish of the electrical engineering faculty at the University of North Florida to create a controls laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering. One of the purposes was to strengthen the controls area of the curriculum.

For many years there was only one controls course (Linear Control Systems EEL4657, 3 credit hours) in the electrical engineering curriculum. The controls course covered the design and analysis of feedback control systems modeled by transfer functions. The course was a theory course. The topics included Routh stability test, Nyquist stability criterion, frequency response design methods, and root locus design methods. There was no coverage of computer-aided control system design (CACSD) techniques.

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

Choi, C. (2004, June), Undergraduate Controls Laboratory Experience Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12888

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