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Electronics 2016, 5(3), 36; doi:10.3390/electronics5030036

Developing an Affordable and Portable Control Systems Laboratory Kit with a Raspberry Pi

Mechanical Engineering Department, Kettering Unviersity, 1700 W University Avenue, Flint, MI 48504, USA
Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 104 S. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in R. M. Reck and R. S. Sreenivas, Developing a new affordable DC motor laboratory kit for an existing undergraduate controls course, Proceedings of the 2015 American Control Conference (ACC), Chicago, IL, USA, 1–3 July 2015, doi: 10.1109/ACC.2015.7171159, pp. 2801–2806
Current address: 1700 University Ave. Flint, MI 48504, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Steven J. Johnston and Simon J. Cox
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Raspberry Pi Technology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4311 KB, uploaded 4 July 2016]   |  


Instructional laboratories are common in engineering programs. Instructional laboratories should evolve with technology and support the changes in higher education, like the increased popularity of online courses. In this study, an affordable and portable laboratory kit was designed to replace the expensive on-campus equipment for two control systems courses. The complete kit costs under $135 and weighs under 0.68 kilograms. It is comprised of off-the-shelf components (e.g., Raspberry Pi, DC motor) and 3D printed parts. The kit has two different configurations. The first (base) configuration is a DC motor system with a position and speed sensor. The second configuration adds a Furuta inverted pendulum attachment with another position sensor. These configurations replicate most of the student learning outcomes for the two control systems courses for which they were designed. View Full-Text
Keywords: control systems; DC motor; inverted pendulum; Raspberry Pi; instructional laboratory; engineering education control systems; DC motor; inverted pendulum; Raspberry Pi; instructional laboratory; engineering education

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Description: Links to MATLAB and Simulink files are available on the website. 3D models and other files can be requested from the authors.

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Reck, R.M.; Sreenivas, R.S. Developing an Affordable and Portable Control Systems Laboratory Kit with a Raspberry Pi. Electronics 2016, 5, 36.

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