Hardware-in-the-Loop simulators for teaching laboratories are a useful aid to learning. Being able to provide complex demonstrators to all members of a class can be expensive and can take up a great deal of space. In this paper the design and evaluation of a custom bench top light tracking simulator is presented. The hardware used has been chosen to be inexpensive, compact and versatile. The integration with popular control software Simulink is demonstrated although the simulator is not limited to one particular program. The simulator is designed to help students develop their understanding of control theory and their application using common place hardware. The adjustment of parameters in real time is possible as well as programming of the unit in embedded mode. The simulator can be used in system identification modelling and also in basic and advanced controller development.
- Control education using laboratory equipment
- Embedded computer control systems
- Hardware-in-the-loop simulation
- Mechatronic systems