Friday, July 16, 2010

A Ball and Curved Beam Experiment Demonstrated at ACC 2010

At the 2010 American Control Conference we had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Levine from the University of Maryland. He was presenting a paper on the ball and beam control experiment and demonstrating it in person at The MathWorks booth. The experiment developed by Dr. Levine uses Quanser's servo, data acquisition board, and real-time software QUARC. You can see the experiment in this video or read his paper. The paper is titled “A Ball and Curved Offset Beam Experiment”, authored by Jansen Sheng, Jay Renner and William S. Levine.


The straight beam in the ball and beam control experiment was replaced by a curved beam mounted away from its center of rotation. The resulting system is much harder to understand, model and control than the ball and straight beam. Nonetheless, the apparatus was constructed, a model was derived using Lagrangian mechanics, and a controller was designed using a linearized model and the LQR. This controller was implemented and successfully stabilized the ball on the curved offset beam.

The paper is available in Proceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference. Please contact us at if you have any questions or comments.


Farrukh Khan said...

Hi. I want to seek and information regarding the implementation of LQR control on Quanser Ball and Beam System. I have worked out the SIMULINK diagram by modifying the SIMULAINK- QuaRC block diagram a little with full state feedback gains. Now, the problem is that the motor is operated with minimum voltage but there is vibration in that. I have cosen my control in such a way that it just yields 4V to 5V for motor voltage (Checked from Simulation). But when I come to real time implementation, the motor voltage level is more than 5V..... I have tried pre compensator too but this too does'nt help. Kindly help in this regard. I 'll mail u my SIMULINK block diagram along with m-file for that.......

Quanser said...

HI Farrukh,
can you please contact our tech support team at, they will be able to assist you.