A great example of a course that adapted to the changing environment is the Automatic Control Systems Course. While the controller design techniques and theories that students learn are still sound, the course lab had to be updated to reflect the shift in the controllers hardware implementation. As a result, students learn controller design methods working with Quanser-NI platform. Since the focus of the course lies on the controller design, rather than on programming or plant analysis, the School has decided to equip the lab with several NI CompactRIO controllers that can be easily connected to a Quanser plant, such as a Linear Inverted Pendulum or Seesaw.
|A typical lab setup as presented by Dr. Galen King, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University during the recent NI Engineering Education webcast series.|
The course has been very well received by the students. By the end of the course, they are able to design real-time controllers on their own and are quite happy with the minimal programming overhead using LabVIEW environment. Moreover, they are able to apply the control concepts during their Capstone Design Project - and several students are competing to use the cRIO controllers they became familiar with in the Automatic Control Systems Course.
That's exactly what the Quanser-NI platform is supposed to do - make controls engineering teaching more engaging, while giving students industry-related tools and build the skills they will need as professional engineers.
To learn more about Quanser-NI platform for controls, click here.