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USB-powered Portable Experiment for Classical Control with Matlab Real-time Windows Target

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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

Innovative Uses of Technology and Techniques for Laboratory Exercises

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1406.1 - 25.1406.12



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Paper Authors


Eniko T. Enikov Universiy of Arizona

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Eniko T. Enikov received his M.S. degree from Technical University of Budapest in 1993 and Ph.D. degree from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. His research is focused on the design and fabrication of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) as well as developing theoretical models of multi-functional materials used in MEMS. As a Postdoctoral Associate at University of Minnesota, Enikov has worked on several projects in the area of micro-assembly, capacitive force sensing. Currently, Enikov is an Associate Professor at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Arizona, where he established the Advanced Micro- and Nanosystems Laboratory. Enikov’s group at the University of Arizona has an ongoing research program on tactile displays, electrostatic micro-grippers for assembly of MEMS, and nano-assembly of macro-molecules using electrostatic fields, as well as development of MEMS-compatible wireless sensing platforms with biomedical applications. Enikov is a member of the professional societies of ASME, IEEE, and ASEE.

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Giampiero Campa MathWorks

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Giampiero Campa received both the laurea degree in electrical engineering (1996) and the Ph.D. degree in robotics and automation (2000), from the University of Pisa, Italy. He has also worked at the Industrial Control Centre, Strathclyde University, U.K., (1995) and at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA (1999). From 2000 to
2008, he has served as faculty in the Flight Control Group at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University. His research at WVU involved adaptive and nonlinear control, system identification, fault tolerant systems, sensor fusion, and machine vision, with UAVs being the typical application. Since Jan. 2009, he works for MathWorks as the Technical Evangelist for the USA west coast area.

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USB-Powered Portable Experiment for Classical Control with Matlab Real-Time Windows TargetEngineering education has the objective of not only presenting the scientific principles,i.e., engineering science, but also of teaching students how to apply these to realproblems. Therefore, hands-on laboratories have been an integral part of the engineeringcurriculum since its inception. This presentation will demonstrate the use of a novel low-cost experimental apparatus for use in a typical undergraduate course in control systemstaught to mechanical engineering students, i.e. students with limited exposure to electricalengineering. The system demonstrates the use of MATLAB tools such as Simulink RealTime Windows Target and System Identification toolboxes to illustrate all stages ofdesign of a closed-loop control systems including: system modeling, parameteridentification, analysis of stability of a closed-loop system, design of dynamiccompensator in the continuous space and implementation of an equivalent digitalcontroller using the Simulink Real Time Windows Target environment. The hardwareapparatus consists of a DC micro-motor attached to a carbon fiber rod. The angulardisplacement is measured with an analog potentiometer, which acts as the pivot point forthe carbon fiber rod. The DC micro-motor is powered by a low cost, custom circuitboard, which is USB-powered requiring no external power adaptor or extra cabling.Attached to the micro-motor is a small propeller which provides thrust force needed torotate the pendulum to a desired angle. The experiment is designed to operate fromstudent's laptops, therefore no special laboratory space is required.The project was tested in a classical control systems design class offered to senior-levelmechanical engineering students. Student feedback and survey data on the effectivenessof the module are presented along with examples of student assignments illustrating theuse of hardware.Aeropendulum  Step Response and Disturbance Rejection Simulink Real Time Windows Target Controller Interface

Enikov, E. T., & Campa, G. (2012, June), USB-powered Portable Experiment for Classical Control with Matlab Real-time Windows Target Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22163

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