Design and Implementation of a Linear Axis Rapid Development System for Education


It is difficult to experimentally implement a controller in a typical semester-long course after the theoretical work is complete due to the time required to interface the controller with the physical hardware. A concept for a Rapid Development System (RDS) is introduced in this paper to automatically generate an interface between the student controller and physical hardware based on controller specifications input by the student. This provides the student with a tool to explore aspects of control design and implementation within the time constraints of a typical semester-long course. The RDS concept is applied to a linear axis system to create a Linear Axis RDS, which is utilized by a group of sixteen manufacturing automation and mechatronics students. Little specific knowledge about the interface is required to successfully implement a controller. The time required to simulate and implement a controller using the Linear Axis RDS is significantly shorter compared with the traditional simulation and implementation process. The controller performance results show that students were able to spend the majority of their time in the controller tuning process, as opposed to spending their time configuring hardware when it is not part of the course material. The students were successful in implementing their controllers in a typical semester-long course utilizing the Linear Axis RDS.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Control Simulation; Emulation and Implementation; Rapid Development Learning Environment

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2010 Tempus Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2010

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