We have designed and fabricated a portable educational lab for control and mechatronics teaching in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. The FlexLab is a system of a flexible cantilever beam with permanent magnets attached to it, while the LevLab demonstrates a magnetic suspension system. Both labs are implemented on one printed circuit board, with actuators, sensors and power amplifiers arranged on it. This system works together with myRIO from National Instruments. The system is designed to be portable, which allow students to work on experiments outside of the laboratory, and thus make better use of the time in lab.
We have attemped to describe this system and its related expreiments in sufficient detail so that it can be readily duplicated by others who might like to use it in their control teaching efforts. The design file of the system is available for download below. We welcome comments, questions, or suggestions for improvement of this lab design and exercise.
Design file downloads:
FlexLab_MyRIO (ZIP archive)
PCB_design_file (ZIP archive)