A typical sequence for the design of a controller, given the desired objectives, is the following: system modeling, design and mathematical analysis, simulation studies, emulation, and experimental implementation. Most control courses thoroughly cover design and mathematical analysis and utilize a simulation or experimental project at the end of the course. However, animation and emulation are seldom utilized and projects rarely cover the entire controller design sequence. This paper presents a control laboratory system developed at the University of Missouri at Rolla that integrates simulation, animation, emulation, and experimental components. The laboratory system may be applied to a wide variety of controls courses, from undergraduate to graduate. In addition to the simulation and experimental studies, students utilize animation and emulation components. Animation allows the students to visualize, as well as validate, their controllers during the simulation design phase, and emulation allows students to debug their programs on the target processor before experimentally implementing their controllers. Two experiments are presented to demonstrate the modular control laboratory system.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Control Theory; Controller Design; Educational Laboratories; Engineering Education; Simulation Studies; System Modeling

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2005 Tempus Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005