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The Flying-Ball-in-Tube Experiment

[+] Author Affiliations
Karl Lukas Knierim, Florian Malchow, Oliver Sawodny

University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

Paper No. IMECE2012-87244, pp. 523-529; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Education and Globalization; General Topics
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4521-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


One of the challenges in teaching applied control theory is to provide students with easy to understand experimental setups, which show complex but comprehensible dynamical behavior. We propose a flying-ball-in-tube experiment with stable, critically stable and unstable behavior. The benefit of the flying-ball-in-tube experiment are its in respect to time scale observable dynamics as well as the simplicity of the setup. A model of the flying-ball-in-tube experiment is derived and analyzed with respect to its stability properties. The derived model is identified and the predicted behavior is validated. In addition, the use of the experimental setup within a one week undergraduate practical is described. Within the course the students program the control environment on a micro controller within the FreeRTOS real time environment and design their own control structure.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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