Mechatronics Workstation

Background :

The mechatronics workstation is an integrated system built for the sole purpose of testing control algorithms on a variety of electromechanical systems. A 266 MHz 686 host computer running QNX is used to provide for computation of the control algorithms, data transfer and display purposes. An Quanser Consulting MultiQ ISA processor board embedded inside the PC serves as the I/O board. The software control package Fumotor developed inhouse is the platform on which all the control programs are run. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) (developed inhouse) running in Photon enables the user to change the control gains without recompiling the control program. All programs are written in C. Data communication to and from the mechatronics workstation is handled by ADC's and DACs on the Multi-Q terminal board. The position information from a differential encoder or resolver based differential encoder signal is read into the encoder channel which gives the position in terms of encoder counts. The signal is then converted to radian measure so that it can directly be used for position information in the control algorithm.

With appropriate scaling, the digital output of the software program is converted to a motor terminal voltage by Techron 7571 power amplifiers, which can provide 2000Watts at 100V. An interface box provides the scaling required between the MultiQ voltages and the outside world. The interface box also has the capability of providing the phase current measurement for use in the control. These sensors can provide voltage outputs proportional to the current through them. It has various safety features like circuit-breakers, voltage relays and resistor banks for sinking large back emfs from the SRM. The voltages from the capacitive limit switches can be fed into the digital inputs of the MultiQ terminal board and interpreted appropriately to prevent the motor from exceeding the angle limits.

The workstation has been invaluable in implementing complex nonlinear controllers on various electromechanical devices.

The Mechatronics Workstation

The older Mechatronics Workstation

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