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Electrical Engineering Studio Lab

Mark Hopkins

Studio 3100 is used mainly to support Control Systems courses, and also provides some BioRobotics support.  The “studio” aspect of the lab is apparent from the layout, which enables the students to face either the front of the room, or the back.  When students face front, they find a desk-like table area in front of them, and the room supports lecture-style delivery of course content, having a very broad whiteboard and two computer projectors.  When students swivel around, they face laboratory tables, with all the lab equipment conveniently arranged before them.  Lab instructors can monitor the teams’ progress from the front of the room.

The lab features work areas for up to eight student teams.  Each work area is equipped with a full complement of computer-connected electronics test-equipment, and a powerful computer workstation.  As in all of our EME Labs, the computers are loaded with a suite of industry-standard electrical engineering software packages, such as Matlab/Simulink (modeling, analysis and visualization), LabVIEW (system design, control, hardware interfaces), CADsoft (robotics design), Cadence (analog circuit design), and Altera (digital circuit design).

The undergraduate Controls Labs uses an Arduino MEGA to interface between a computer workstation and the system to be controlled, such as a DC motor.  The controller design is created and tested analytically as a Simulink model on the computer.  Then the controller design is downloaded by USB directly to an Arduino MEGA, where it runs as an independent real-time application that reports results back to the computer, for analysis and visualization.  In this configuration, a controller design can easily be created, modified, implemented in real-time, and tested.

PC Workstation, Tek TDS2012 Scope, Agilent E3631A Power Supply. Agilent 33120 Function Generator, Agilent 34401A Multimeter

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