Thursday, January 21, 2010

QUARC: Virtual Plant Demo - SRV02 Self-Erecting Inverted Pendulum

True to Quanser’s learning-by-doing philosophy, the QUARC built-in demonstrations, as previously described in our QUARC: Learning By Doing post, have now been augmented in QUARC 2.0.

Amongst other added features, QUARC 2.0 includes a demonstration of Quanser’s first Virtual Plant (VP), consisting of a realistic visual and dynamic representation of Quanser’s actual SRV02 Self-Erecting Inverted Pendulum Control Challenge system. This built-in VP example simulates the dynamics and control of the corresponding Quanser actual plant and animates the experiment in full 3D realism in real-time. As usual with Quanser’s experiments, the closed-loop controller is fully open-architecture and implemented in Simulink, with all the system parameters being accessible and tunable.

Request a free demo license now. Here's what you can expect - watch this video and read on!
(video also available on YouTube)
Starting the model automatically opens the QUARC standalone 3D visualization window. The pendulum is initially in the downward position. The controller then uses an energy-based swing-up control scheme to swing the pendulum back and forth until it is close to the upright position. Once the pendulum is sufficiently close to upright and is not moving too quickly, the controller switches to a balancing control algorithm to maintain the pendulum in the vertical position. Once the pendulum is being balanced, the rotary arm is commanded using a generated square wave and the controller continues to balance the pendulum in the upright position, despite the movement of the supporting arm. Notice how the controller exhibits non-minimum phase behaviour to ensure that the pendulum does not fall when moving to the next arm position; in other words, it gives the arm an impulse in the wrong direction to get the pendulum leaning before moving the arm to the correct orientation.

If you have taken QUARC 2.0 for a test drive, you probably noticed how it can now act as a Virtual Plant Simulator (VPS) without hardware and also without Real-Time Workshop (RTW) (as the VP can be run in Simulink normal simulation mode)! Real-time operation is achieved by using the QUARC System Timebase block.

This demonstration also serves as another example of the powerful visualization capabilities provided with QUARC 2.0, including inheritance, specular lighting and fog. As a reminder, the QUARC 2.0 visualization module has been previously showcased in our Visualize Your Simulation and Quanser Visualization Blocks posts.

So what other best way is there to start the new year than to ask for a QUARC 2.0 demo license, try all these new possibilities firsthand and see it for yourself?

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