Thursday, July 2, 2009

Flexible link with flexible possibilities

There are many real-world applications for controlling vibration.

Objects connected to the ground can usually damp out vibrations with relative ease. However, stick an object in space and vibration becomes a serious concern. Whenever an object is moved or stopped, the resulting vibrations need to be controlled or they may continue for long and undesirable periods of time.

One of the experiments in Quanser’s rotary collection is the Flexible Link - a stainless steel, ruler-like link with a strain gauge to measure deflection. The link is placed on a DC motor and can be used to simulate how it might react to different inputs and how a controller performs in damping the ensuing vibrations. When the experiments are running, it’s very clear to see how the controller performs.

On a recent visit of Dr. Bogdan Udrea and his students at Embry-Riddle University in Florida, the students tested out vibrations on the link and brought out a slow-motion video camera. See that link flex…

Dr. Yunjun Xu of the University of Central Florida has been using the flexible link to create a vision-based controller to limit vibrations and is getting amazing results. The videos below are from his lab and show no perceivable vibrations.

Without controller...

With controller turned on...

Learn more about the flexible link experiment here.

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