Next Article in Journal
Subsea Cable Tracking by Autonomous Underwater Vehicle with Magnetic Sensing Guidance
Next Article in Special Issue
Novel Robotic Platforms for the Accurate Sampling and Monitoring of Water Columns
Previous Article in Journal
Clustering and Beamforming for Efficient Communication in Wireless Sensor Networks
Previous Article in Special Issue
On Event-Triggered Adaptive Architectures for Decentralized and Distributed Control of Large-Scale Modular Systems
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1331;

Mounted Smartphones as Measurement and Control Platforms for Motor-Based Laboratory Test-Beds

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Mechatronics and Control Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Frank, J.A.; Brill, A.; Bae, J.; Kapila, V. Exploring the role of a smartphone as a motion sensing and control device in the wireless networked control of a motor test-bed. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO), Colmar, France, 21–23 July 2015; pp. 328–335. Brill, A.; Frank, J.A.; Kapila, V. Visual servoing of an inverted pendulum on cart using a mounted smartphone. In Proceedings of the 2016 American Control Conference (ACC), Boston, MA, USA, 6–8 July 2016; pp. 1323–1328. Brill, A.; Frank, J.A.; Kapila, V. Using inertial and visual sensing from a mounted smartphone to stabilize a ball and beam test-bed. In Proceedings of the 2016 American Control Conference (ACC), Boston, MA, USA, 6–8 July 2016; pp. 1335–1340.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dan Zhang
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 20 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics Devices)
Full-Text   |   PDF [5395 KB, uploaded 20 August 2016]   |  


Laboratory education in science and engineering often entails the use of test-beds equipped with costly peripherals for sensing, acquisition, storage, processing, and control of physical behavior. However, costly peripherals are no longer necessary to obtain precise measurements and achieve stable feedback control of test-beds. With smartphones performing diverse sensing and processing tasks, this study examines the feasibility of mounting smartphones directly to test-beds to exploit their embedded hardware and software in the measurement and control of the test-beds. This approach is a first step towards replacing laboratory-grade peripherals with more compact and affordable smartphone-based platforms, whose interactive user interfaces can engender wider participation and engagement from learners. Demonstrative cases are presented in which the sensing, computation, control, and user interaction with three motor-based test-beds are handled by a mounted smartphone. Results of experiments and simulations are used to validate the feasibility of mounted smartphones as measurement and feedback control platforms for motor-based laboratory test-beds, report the measurement precision and closed-loop performance achieved with such platforms, and address challenges in the development of platforms to maintain system stability. View Full-Text
Keywords: control; laboratory; mechatronics; sensing; smartphone control; laboratory; mechatronics; sensing; smartphone

Figure 1

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 materials


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Frank, J.A.; Brill, A.; Kapila, V. Mounted Smartphones as Measurement and Control Platforms for Motor-Based Laboratory Test-Beds. Sensors 2016, 16, 1331.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top