Laboratory Equipment

At the 2018 Dynamic Systems and Controls (DSCC) Conference, I published a paper detailing the methods for validating various DC Motor models.  The full paper can be accessed from the ASME Digital Collection.

Read more: Validating DC Motor Models on the Quanser Qube Servo

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.

Read more: Applying a common framework to develop undergraduate control systems laboratory kits

During my dissertation, I surveyed control systems faculty, laboratory staff, and industry professionals to determine common aspects of undergraduate control systems instructional laboratories. Through two different survey techniques, I defined the most common learning objectives, concepts, and components of a laboratory apparatus. The results of this study were recently published in IEEE Transactions on Education. The full paper can be downloaded from IEEE Explore.

Read more: Common Learning Objectives for Undergraduate Control Systems Instructional Laboratories

The technical details of my laboratory kit for control systems were published in the Raspberry Pi special edition of Electronics.  This article also includes the newly added Furuta Inverted Pendulum attachment for the kit.  The open access paper can be found on the Electronics website.

Read more: Developing an Affordable and Portable Control Systems Laboratory Kit with a Raspberry Pi

I created a video demonstration of my control systems laboratory kit to help expand the reach of the new possibilities of instructional laboratories with low-cost hardware.

Read more: Video of Control Systems Laboratory Kit

On April 1, 2016, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  My dissertation consisted of three different studies related to experiential learning.

Read more: Successfully Defended My Dissertation

At the 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education conference, I presented the preliminary analysis of the quantitative data we collected about a laboratory kit during the 2014-2015 school year.  During both semesters, half of the GE 320 laboratory sections used our new kit (treatment) and the other half used the existing equipment (baseline).  In this preliminary analysis, we determined that we could not detect a difference in performance on exams between the treatment and baseline groups.  The full paper can be found on the IEEE Explore website.

Read more: Assessing an affordable and portable laboratory kit in an undergraduate control systems course

At the 2015 American Control Conference (ACC), I presented a paper in the invited session on Controls Education.  In this paper, I included the technical details and code developed for the GE 320 laboratory kit.  The technical details include a bill of materials and circuit board diagrams.  The code includes s-function code and Simulink models used in the laboratories. The models used to 3D print other parts are available upon request. The full paper can be found on the IEEE Explore website.

Read more: Developing a new affordable DC motor laboratory kit for an existing undergraduate controls course

A bring your own experiment (BYOE) is a special category of papers at the ASEE Annual Conference in the Division Experimentation and Lab-Oriented Studies.  In a BYOE paper the author describes how to develop equipment and/or a novel set of experiments.  At the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference, I published a BYOE paper about the GE 320 laboratory kit I developed and the experiments that can be performed with the kit.  During the conference, instead of a traditional paper presentation, I demonstrated an experiment with the kit in a science fair style session.  The full paper can be found on the ASEE PEER website.  

Read more: BYOE: Affordable and Portable Laboratory Kit for Controls Courses

We are seeking volunteers who have experience teaching and/or developing control systems laboratories. The purpose of this study is to determine a consensus of the most important learning outcomes, concepts, and equipment for students to experience in a control systems laboratory. In order to achieve a consensus the survey will be administered in four rounds between June and August 2015. Each round will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.

Read more: Recruiting Volunteers for a New Project on Low-Cost Hardware

In order for the Raspberry Pi to read the motor's position from the potentiometer, the analog signal needs to be converted to a digital signal.  I selected an MCP3002 analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for this purpose.  The digital output from the MCP3002 can be read using the SPI or I2C protocols and the Raspberry Pi has built in drivers in the WiringPi libraries for both protocols.  I used SPI in the GE320 kit because the driver already existed in WiringPi, which made the implementation very easy.

Read more: SPI Driver in Simulink for the Raspberry Pi

The first phase of my dissertation research is to create a laboratory kit that can be used in the introduction to controls course in General Engineering (GE).  I have included a description of the course, the existing equipment, the contents of the kit, and a comparison of the laboratory exercises below.

Read more: GE320 Laboratory Kit Development

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.