This course draws together mechanical, electrical, software and interfacing aspects of a mechatronic system through a progressive sequence of design and control experiments. Students will create and analyse a series of hands-on design experiments. A motor is connected to a computer through a power amplifier, while another motor in tandem is monitored through an analogue interface to determine its speed. A line or two of code makes speed control possible. A belt drives a 'trolley' of which the position is monitored and some more effort including some nonlinear strategies results in a 'crisp' position controller of an industrial standard. An inverted pendulum is added to the trolley and the student devises a control scheme to keep it balanced. Several other brief experiments give familiarity with pneumatic positioning and vision interfacing.
This course contains a mandatory residential school.