At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published the results of a comparison of lab kits using the control systems laboratory framework (CSLF) that I published earlier this year in the IEEE Transactions on Education. The paper also includes a suggested process for using the CSLF in new laboratory development (see photo above). The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.
In the literature, there are many examples of control systems laboratory experiments and equipment. However, the information provided about these laboratories is not consistent. This paper applies a common framework for control systems laboratories to compare six existing low-cost laboratory kits for control systems and mechatronics. The framework contains learning objectives, components of a laboratory apparatus, and concepts for undergraduate control systems courses. It was developed based on a series of surveys of the control systems community. Additionally, a procedure is provided for how to apply the common framework for new laboratory developments and to improve consistency and ease of comparison of laboratories in the future. Due to diversity and differences between the disciplines that teach control systems, this procedure is provided as a guide rather than a prescriptive set of instructions. While using the procedures, instructors may select from the items on each list of the common framework to develop an effective laboratory experience for their students but are encouraged to explain the rationale for which items were selected when sharing their laboratory experience with other instructors. While previous literature has lacked the consistency of details, the goal of this paper is to show how this common framework can be applied in the future to increase understanding and transferability of control systems laboratories across institutions and disciplines.
R. M. Reck, “Applying a common framework to develop undergraduate control systems laboratory kits,” in 2017 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Indianapolis, IN. DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2017.8190474