Senest opdateret: 24.11.2017 klokkn 19:55:08
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6. semester

Projekttitel: The Balancing Rod
Synopsis: This project deals with the development of controllers to the scientific laboratory setup ``The Balancing Rod''.

The project is focused on balancing a rod in one plane. The rod is mounted on an arm, which is mounted on a gear connected to a DC-motor.

By means of an A/D data acquisition card, the angles of the arm and rod are measured, together with the rotational speed of the motor. From these inputs, the necessary motor voltage is calculated and applied.

A linear model of the system is developed, for designing the controllers. To simulate the controllers a nonlinear model is developed. Parts of both models are verified using the Senstools toolbox.

Afterwards a classic controller and an optimal controller are designed.

While the first of these is designed by the principles of classical feedback control, the latter is designed using state space analysis. Both controllers are simulated in Simulink prior to reallife testing in the control lab.

By means of a graphical user interface it can be chosen, which controller to use. It is also possible to change the reference point of the arm, and observe the position and angle of the arm and rod.

Through testing it became evident that both controllers are capable of balancing the rod. However, none of the controllers can balance the rod while maintaining the arm angle within the desired $\pm 5^{\circ}$ of the selected operating point. This is due to an unexplained phenomenon, that makes the arm drift from side to side.

The optimal controller appears to be more ``stable'' than the classic controller, and hence is considered the best controller for this particular system.

The features for changing the operating point and ascending the rod from rest to pointing upwards, are only implemented with the optimal controller.