Mini-Lab Projects in the Undergraduate Classical Controls Course


To address a common complaint from students that the undergraduate controls lecture course in mechanical engineering is too abstract, an electromechanical mini-lab was developed. The term "mini-lab" is used here to emphasize the fact that the lab augments the lecture, but does not replace a full controls lab. This mini-lab consists of a simple DC motor and flywheel with either tachometer speed, or potentiometer position, feedback to implement speed or position control. The students were required to model the system, design controllers using root locus techniques, simulate the compensated system using MATLAB and Simulink, and implement their controllers using analog circuitry contained in a supplied breadboard kit. The students, placed into groups of three, then debuged and tested their controllers on the mini-lab to determine the actual performance in comparison to simulation. The outcomes over two trials will be presented along with recommended modifications.

Meeting Name

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education (2003: Jun. 22-25, Nashville, TN)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Psychological Science

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2003 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

25 Jun 2003

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