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Establishing the Connection between Control Theory Education and Application: An Arduino Based Rapid Control Prototyping Approach

Hongtai Cheng, Lina Hao, Zhong Luo, and Fei Wang
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China
Abstract—Automatic control theory is tightly related with other majors such as mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Control theory education is an essential part of those majors and has significant effect on students’ engineering practice and innovative ability. However, current control theory courses use the “teaching by telling” approach to teach students mathematical derivation centered knowledge, which cuts off the natural connection between the theory and application and leaves students ill-prepared for the engineering profession. This paper proposes to use a rapid control prototyping centered approach to fill the gap between theory and application and help to improve the learning quality. The main idea is to introduce digital simulation and hardware-in-loop simulation into the teaching practice. Digital simulation can accelerate the learning efficiency while the hardware-in-loop simulation can establish the connection between the theory and application.

Index Terms—control theory education, rapid control prototyping, digital simulation, hardware-in-loop simulation

Cite: Hongtai Cheng, Lina Hao, Zhong Luo, and Fei Wang, "Establishing the Connection between Control Theory Education and Application: An Arduino Based Rapid Control Prototyping Approach," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 67-72, June 2016. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.2.1.67-72
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