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Developing an Affordable Laboratory Kit for Undergraduate Controls Education

[+] Author Affiliations
Rebecca M. Reck, Ramavarapu S. Sreenivas

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Paper No. DSCC2014-6046, pp. V001T02A004; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 1: Active Control of Aerospace Structure; Motion Control; Aerospace Control; Assistive Robotic Systems; Bio-Inspired Systems; Biomedical/Bioengineering Applications; Building Energy Systems; Condition Based Monitoring; Control Design for Drilling Automation; Control of Ground Vehicles, Manipulators, Mechatronic Systems; Controls for Manufacturing; Distributed Control; Dynamic Modeling for Vehicle Systems; Dynamics and Control of Mobile and Locomotion Robots; Electrochemical Energy Systems
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, October 22–24, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4618-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The aim of this research is to expand the possibilities of multi-disciplinary controls education at the undergraduate and graduate levels with an affordable laboratory kit. A kit was assembled for around $130 while replicating the educational functionality of a typical laboratory station in a university controls laboratory. This kit could also replace expensive equipment with an affordable alternative that can be easily shipped anywhere in the world and used by students with any computer. This greatly enhances the accessibility of the laboratory experience to students in budget-strapped campus laboratories and those participating in distance education. The kit design consists of a Raspberry Pi, a DC motor, and various components required for the lab exercises. The first two kits allow students to complete labs that include DC motor system identification, DC motor control, inverted pendulum control, and any other project a student might want to create with a Raspberry Pi, DC motor, and a 3-D printer.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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