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Proceedings,

Proceedings, 15th
Programmable IFAC
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15th Conference
IFAC and Embedded
Conference on
on Systems
Proceedings,
Programmable
Ostrava, 15th
Czech IFAC and
Devices Conference
Republic, Embedded
May 23-25,on Systems
2018
Programmable
Proceedings, Devices
15th and
IFAC and Embedded
Conference on Systems
Available
Programmable
Ostrava, Czech Devices
Republic, Embedded
May 23-25, Systemsonline at www.sciencedirect.com
2018
Proceedings,
Programmable 15th
Ostrava, Czech IFAC and
Conference
Republic,
Devices May 23-25,on
Embedded 2018
Systems
Ostrava, Czech Republic, May 23-25, 2018
Programmable
Ostrava, Czech Devices and
Republic, Embedded
May Systems
23-25, 2018
Ostrava, Czech Republic, May 23-25, 2018 ScienceDirect
IFAC PapersOnLine
Low cost laboratory plant51-6 for
(2018)control
289–294 system education
Low
Low cost
cost laboratory
laboratory plant
plant for
for control
control system
system education
education
Low
Low cost
cost laboratory
laboratory plant
plant for
for control
control system
system education
education
Tomas Docekal, Matej Golembiovsky
Low cost laboratory
Tomas plant
Docekal, for
 control
Matej system
Golembiovsky
Tomas Docekal, Matej Golembiovsky
education
Tomas Docekal, Matej Golembiovsky
Tomas Docekal, Matej Golembiovsky
Department ofTomas Docekal,
Cybernetics andMatej Golembiovsky
Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of
Department
Department of
of Cybernetics
Electrical Engineering
Cybernetics and
and  Biomedical
and Computer
Biomedical Engineering,
Science, Faculty
Engineering, Faculty of
DepartmentElectrical of CyberneticsEngineeringand Biomedical
and Computer Engineering,
Science, Faculty of of
DepartmentElectrical of VSB-Technical
Cybernetics
EngineeringandUniversity
Biomedical
and of
Computer Engineering,
Ostrava,
Science, Faculty of
DepartmentElectrical of
Electrical
17.listopadu
Engineering
Cybernetics
VSB-Technical
Engineering
VSB-Technical and
15, Ostrava,
and Computer
Biomedical
University of
and Computer
University Czechof
Science, Faculty of
Engineering,
Ostrava,
Science,
Republic
VSB-Technical University of Ostrava,
Ostrava,
(e-mails:Electrical17.listopadu Engineering
VSB-Technical
tomas.docekal@vsb.cz,
17.listopadu
17.listopadu
15,
15, and
Ostrava,
University
Ostrava,
15, Ostrava,
Computer
Czech
Czech
Czech
Science,
Republic
of Ostrava,
matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
Republic
Republic
(e-mails:
(e-mails: VSB-Technical
tomas.docekal@vsb.cz,
17.listopadu 15, Ostrava, University of Ostrava,
matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
Czech Republic
(e-mails: tomas.docekal@vsb.cz,
tomas.docekal@vsb.cz,
17.listopadu 15, Ostrava,
matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
Czech Republic
(e-mails: tomas.docekal@vsb.cz, matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
Abstract: This article(e-mails: deals with tomas.docekal@vsb.cz,
design and development matej.golembiovsky@vsb.cz)
of low cost laboratory plant for control system
Abstract:
education. This
The article
apparatus deals with
includes design
DC and
motor development
with of
incremental low cost
quadratic laboratory
encoder.plant The for control
Arduino system
Abstract:
Abstract: This
education.
This
The
article
apparatus
deals
article deals with design
with design
includes DC
and development
and development
motor with
of
of low
incremental low cost
cost laboratory
quadratic laboratory
encoder.
plant
plant
The
for
for controlplatform
control
Arduino
system
system
platform
Abstract:
is used
education. to This
realize
The article
digital
apparatus deals withsystem.
control
includes design
DC and
It
motor is development
also
with possible of
to
incremental low
use cost laboratory
Raspberry
quadratic Pi
encoder. to plant
interact
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with
Arduino system
laboratory
platform
education. The
This apparatus
article deals includes
with DC
design motor
and with
development incremental
of lowquadratic encoder.
cost laboratory The
plant Arduino platform
Abstract:
is
plant
is used
education.
used and to
to realize
The Control
REX
realize digital
apparatus
digital control
includes
System
control tosystem.
DC motor
design
system. It is also
control
It is with
also possible
algorithm.
possible to
incremental
to use
use Raspberry
quadratic
Raspberry Pi
encoder.
Pi to
to The for
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with
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with system
laboratory
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plant and to REX
realize
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apparatus
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includes tosystem.
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design Itcontrol
motor is also
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design It is also possible
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© used
plant
is 2018,
Keywords:
plant
and
and IFAC
to REX (International
realize
REX
Control
Embedded digitalSystem
Control Federation
control
Systems,
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tosystem.
design of Itcontrol
Automatic
Microprocessors
to design control Control)
is alsoalgorithm.
possible toHosting by Elsevier
use Raspberry
and Microcontrollers;
algorithm. Pi Ltd.
to
Control AllSystem
interact rights
withreserved.
laboratory
Education;
Keywords:
plant
Arduino;
Keywords: and DC REXEmbedded
Control
Motor,
Embedded REX Systems,
System
Control
Systems, Microprocessors
to design
System control algorithm.
Microprocessors and
and Microcontrollers;
Microcontrollers; Control
Control System
System Education;
Education;
Keywords:
Arduino; DC Embedded
Motor, REX Systems,
Control Microprocessors
System and Microcontrollers; Control System Education;
Keywords:
Arduino; DCEmbedded
Motor, REX REX Systems,
Control Microprocessors
System and Microcontrollers; Control System Education;
Arduino;
Keywords: DC Motor,
Embedded Control
Systems, System
Microprocessors  and Microcontrollers; Control System Education;
Arduino; DC Motor, REX Control System 
Arduino; DC Motor, REX Control System device to measure the voltage in order to make it visible.
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Copyright
invisibility © 2018
of theIFAC control value. It is necessary to use another 289
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known platform based on 8bit microcontroller. There are resistor. Outputs of both systems with RC circuits are
numerous examples of working with this platform, making it therefore very similar, if we disregard the malfunction signal.
easy for students to study it on their own. In addition to vast By comparing outputs of the same control circuit, we can see
support, the simplicity of the control algorithm design and the influence of the disturbance signal on the output value.
open-source development environment with many functions
was the key. Students are therefore not required to be familiar One of the basic functions of automatization is controlling the
with complex programming language or some platform, rotations of the motor. This task is also useful in teaching, as
leaving the main focus to be the issue of designing the control the students can see output value of the system, in this case
system, with implementation on a specific platform being motor shaft rotation. It is therefore immediately evident
very simple. which purpose this task serves and how it can be used in
practice. Even though the basic version of the board is not
2. HARDWARE DESCRIPTION equipped with an electric motor or a rotation speed sensor,
this task was taken into account during the design. The board
The laboratory plant should be used in several different was equipped with interface which allows us to connect it
subjects. Because of it we decided to divide it to two parts. with the motor, encoder and sensor for measuring the current
First one is the shield board compatible with Arduino Uno going through the motor. Separation of this part is expedient
and Mega platform and including basic user interface, simple because of the lower price of the board, but also because it
systems based on RC circuits and connectors for motor board allows using various types and sizes of motors. Since the
connection. This second board is the basis of the control board does not contain any power electronics but only control
system described later and used to do controller design signals come out of it and it accepts standard inputs for
example. measuring of rotations using quadrature encoder or analogue
input for measuring current, it is possible (with little
2.1 Shield board adjustments of input and output signals) to connect almost
any electro motor with power ranging from mW up to kW.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to use external power supply for
The main aspect of the design was the simplicity of the basic
more powerful motors.
part. At the same time, however, the emphasis was on the
possibility of extensions; shield can therefore be used as an
interface for controlling other more complex systems.
Separating these more complex parts from the basic model
has the advantage in lowering its price while keeping the
possibility for additional extension. As was mentioned
before, the whole board, shown in Fig. 2, is drawn as a shield
for development platform Arduino.
The parts of the board are adjusted in such a way so that the
students can familiarize themselves with basics of controlling
simple systems and measuring output values. As an example
of a simple dynamic system we implemented two serially
connected RC circuits. The input of this system is realized by
PWM signal whose period is smaller than time constants of
the system. From the output signal perspective, the system Fig. 1. Connection of RC circuit with optical transfer of
then acts as if there was a continuous analogue signal on its manipulated value
input which corresponds with the duty of the excitation PWM
signal. Another advantage of the design is the ability to In order to familiarize with the possibilities for interaction
measure the output value from the first and second RC with the user-controlled systems and measuring of process
circuit. Students can therefore gradually familiarize with the quantities, other components are added to the board. To
issue of controlling systems of the first and second order. indicate the state there are two LEDs, one connected only to
Monitoring signal located “inside” the system can be used the digital output, the other allows for brightness control
also for teaching cascade control systems. through PWM signal. As a demonstration of the open-loop
controls, there is connector on the board, which emits
To supplement the issue of controlling a second, identical
standardized servo signal. There is no feedback for the
system with RC circuits is used. Excitation of this system,
periphery connected to this connector, which demonstrates
however, is connected using LED and photosensitive resistor,
the need for implementation of external control circuit, which
shown in Fig. 1. Thanks to this connection, a disturbance
is an inseparable part of the radio control servomechanism.
signal is led into the system in the form of a local
Measuring rotation of the shaft and evaluation of the
illumination or partial blocking of the light beam between
manipulated value takes place inside the servomechanism
LED and photosensitive resistor. This way, students can
itself and cannot be interfered with. For user entry there is
check what impact this disturbance signal has on the quality
micro-switch on the board connected to digital input. The last
of control in the closed loop control system. Extra attention
part is a temperature sensor. This sensor is connected through
was given to implementation of this part, especially in terms
1-wire bus and demonstrates the possibilities of more
of adjusting the signal coming out of a photosensitive

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complex two-way communication with some sensors or development platform Arduino from USB port of a computer
actuators. is sufficient. The carbon brushes ensure motor longevity.
The whole board was designed as an additional shield for From the electronics point of view, the platform implements
Arduino while keeping in mind not to unnecessarily increase H-bridge which converts digital signal about the direction of
the size of the whole platform. From electrical point of view, the rotation and PWM signal with information about motor
individual parts of this board are connected so that we may power to power signals suitable for motor excitation. To
fully utilize hardware peripheries of Arduino platform measure the rotation speed and shaft position we choose
microcontroller. To generate all PWM signals we may magnetic incremental quadrature encoder which uses
therefore use timers. Measuring analogue values is possible diametrically magnetized cylinder-shaped magnet attached to
thanks to embedded A/D convertor and in order to read user the motor shaft. Position of this magnet is evaluated inside
input and to count pulses from encoder the external interrupts the magnetic encoder, based on a signal from the hall sensors
can be utilized. All these steps lower the computation array. If the magnet position changes, the sensor generates
requirements which would be needed in software pulses corresponding to this change. In order to attach the
implementation of these functions. The platform therefore magnet to the motor shaft, a special part was designed and
allows even for relatively complex tasks using simple 8bit printed on the 3D printer precisely for that purpose. The part
microcontroller. is also used for attaching the load in the form of an M8 nut,
which increases the time constant of the system. The last part
of the platform is the circuit for measuring current through
motor. This current corresponds with motor torque and the
ability to measure it opens up possibilities for implementing
more complex and precise control algorithms.
From the mechanical point of view, the whole motor board
forms a compact unit. Its base consists of printed circuit
board with electronic parts. This board also serves as a
mechanical carrier for motor and additional board with
magnetic encoder, which could not be placed on the base
board because of the shaft position. This unit is then
connected to shield board for Arduino through a simple flat
cable.

Fig. 2. Shield board for Arduino

2.2 Motor board

It is an extension of the shield board which enables the task


of motor rotation control. Even though it is one of the basic
tasks in automatization, the need for an exact positioning of
the motor shaft and an exact motor rotation speed profile may
increase the complexity of this task.
The shield board, shown in Fig. 3, allows connection with
almost any electro motor, however the simplest type of them Fig. 3. Motor board with H-bridge and current sensor
was chosen for this extension design – brushed DC motor
with permanent magnets. The choice of motor power was 3. CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEM
also rather conservative, as the product is meant for
demonstration and designing of control algorithms and it will At the beginning of the work with the system there are two
not actually actuate anything, therefore there is no need for basic tasks – the ability to apply manipulated value and to
using high power one. The final choice was a small motor measure output signal. The first one is generating PWM
with carbon brushes. The laboratory plant will not therefore signal from the microcontroller to change voltage applied to
require external power supply as the power provided through the motor and to change the direction of rotation by digital

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292

output pin. The H-bridge internal structure creates the need to characteristic also shows significant non-linearity – a
change polarity of PWM signal depending on the direction of deadband and friction depending on whether the
rotation, since the final voltage applied to the motor is related measurement was done during acceleration or slowing down.
with pulses with opposite values than the value of a signal Furthermore, characteristic in the first quadrant is generally
determining the direction of rotation. This can be easily non-linear as opposed to the third quadrant. This is caused by
solved in the program function into which the sign value used the H-bridge and control method. If the PWM signal is
determining duty of the PWM signal and the direction of being generated only in one output while the second one is
rotation is entering. The second task is reading the value of used to control the rotation direction, we use fast decay mode
incremental quadrature encoder and calculating rotation (first quadrant) in one direction and slow decay (third
speed. The used platform Arduino utilizes microcontroller quadrant) in the other. This issue is illustrated in Fig. 5.
ATmega which contains pins connected to external
interrupts. This can be triggered by changing the logical level
of the connected signal. One of the encoder channels is
connected to pin with described feature. In the interrupt
handler it is checked whether it was a rising or falling edge
and what is the current logical level on the second signal
from encoder. From this data we determine whether the
counted number of edges increments (rotation in one way) or
decrements (rotation in the other way). Let us note that the
total number of impulses on one channel, which is equal to
one rotation of the shaft, is 64, meaning there is total of 128
counted edges per revolution. Counting only the amount of
edges determines shaft angular position. If we want to obtain
information about speed, it is necessary to determine edge
count per a unit of time (to count derivation, differentiation
respectively). For this purpose, we use timer with set period
of 5 ms. In the interrupt handler of the timer we then
determine how has the number of detected edges changed in
the last time period. This value is then the speed of shaft Fig. 4. Static characteristic of used DC motor, blue line is
rotation in “number of edges per 5 ms” unit. The information increasing of PWM duty, red line decreasing
can be converted to usual units via encoder resolution with
the (1). Because it will be necessary to work with floating In the fast decay mode, the static characteristic is not linear.
point numbers instead of integers when using unit rpm, it is If needed, it is possible to implement control on the
not used normally in the algorithms running on used microcontroller in a more complex manner, thus managing to
microcontroller. use slow decay mode in both directions of the rotation.
count per 5 ms
n  200  60 ( rpm) (1)
128
The constant 128 is number of edges per revolution, constant
200 is used to transfer value from 5 ms to seconds and
constant 60 is used to transfer value to minutes.

3.1 Static characteristic

While working with this laboratory plant, it is important to


learn some information about the controlled system. For this,
the system has certain measurable characteristics, one of
which is static characteristic. From that, we may determine
linearity of the system, its gain and limit values. During the
measurement we must take care that there is a long enough
delay after setting the manipulated value, meaning the system
is in steady state. The whole process can be automatized
through cycles and send measured values from Fig. 5. PWM current control in fast and slow decay modes
microcontroller into terminal on the computer through virtual (from Allegro MicroSystems, LLC (2013))
serial interface.
The characteristic is displayed in Fig. 4 and captures areas for 3.2 Dynamic characteristic
rotation in both directions and simultaneously the increase
and decrease of the system input signal. The maximum value Dynamics of the system is captured in the step response
of rotations of the motor is approximately 5000 rpm. The displayed in Fig. 6. During its measurement the system is

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firstly in a stable condition with zero input and output. After The following step of the entire process is discretization and
that there is a step change of manipulated value. The output, implementation. Firstly, we transform the controller transfer
that is the rotations of the motor, is measured in regular function from the regulator from Laplace transform into
intervals (in our case 5 ms) as the difference of counted discrete Z-transform via backward difference method using
edges. substitution (4).
It is possible to identify the system and determine its transfer 1
z 1 1 z
function by the measured characteristics. Identification s  (4)
Toolbox system, part of the Matlab, can be used for this. Tz T
where T is the sampling period used by the control system.
Thus, we obtain discretized transfer function (5).
0.4525 U ( z)
G R ( z )  12.7  1
 (5)
1 z E( z)
By some adjustments, we get an equation (6) that is then
easily convertible into time domain (7).
1 1
U ( z )  (1  z )  E ( z )  (13.1525  12.7  z ) (6)
u[k ]  u[k  1]  13.1525  e[k ]  12.7  e[k  1] (7)
Equation (7) is entered directly into the control algorithm. It
is necessary to add calculation of error value, that is the
difference between setpoint and controlled value, and also
add saving of the calculated values for further calculations in
the following algorithm cycle execution.
After implementation it is necessary to check the
Fig. 6. Step response of used system functionality of the control system. We therefore create the
same situation as during simulations – step change of
setpoint. The final response is then compared with simulated
While it may not be evident from the characteristics at first
process in Fig. 7.
sight, for identification we will use formula for a second
order system. Due to this, it is possible to use more methods
for controller design. The used laboratory plant has transfer
function described in (2).
0.16914
G( s)  (2)
2.739  10 4

 s  1  0.1409  s  1

4. EXAMPLE OF CONTROL DESIGN PROCESS


The basic aim in using the mentioned tools is to allow the
students to try out the process of design and implementation
of the controller in its entirety. The first phase is
identification of the system transfer function, second is the
design of the controller, third is its discretization and
implementation on a specific platform, and fourth is the
functionality check.
Process of acquiring the transfer function of the system has
been described in the previous chapter. In the following part a
method of modulus optimum with the ability to restrict
Fig. 7. Comparison of closed loop control system responses,
manipulated value to an available scale described in Docekal
blue line is simulated one, red line is real one
and Ozana (2017) was chosen. Transfer function of the final
PI controller is described in (3).
While comparing controlled values from simulation and from
90.5 reality, we can see that they are strongly matched. With data
G R ( s )  12.7  (3) from laboratory plant we also see that there is some noise.
s This is something that must be accounted for and with which
The response from the simulation of the closed loop control the students will get familiar. It is partly caused by a
system to step change in the setpoint from 0 to 20 (in the relatively small resolution of the used encoder.
amount of edges in 5 ms) is captured in the Fig. 7.

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294

5. CONCLUSION without need for special lab. The Ethernet connection of


Raspberry Pi is modifiable; the IP addresses can be static or
This article deals with low cost laboratory plant design. It is dynamic etc., easily connectable to single computer, local
suitable for teaching cybernetics and control systems. With network or existing university network. The use of wireless
its use it is possible to further develop knowledge and USB adapter is also possible.
abilities of the students, especially allowing them to take part
in practical demonstrations, thus increasing their ability to The cost of the shield board and motor board is
memorize gained knowledge. After the introduction of these approximately 30 €, however it can be reduced by using some
laboratory plants into seminars, there was an increase in China printed circuit boards manufacturer. After adding the
students’ interest in this subject and their positive response. Arduino UNO and Raspberry Pi the price rises to
approximately 80 € for the whole stand. With this price it is
The first part suggested examples of simple systems that possible to equip the lab with stand for each student, so they
could be used during seminars. The finalized tool implements can work independently. It is also possible for students with
two of them (system with DC motor and RC circuits) plus interest in control theory to buy their own stand, which can
contains a temperature sensor. After further extension it include only shield board, motor board and Arduino UNO.
would be possible to use it for a third task of temperature The microcontroller platform is then usable for other tasks
control too. and the other boards can be made by students, so the price is
In the next part of the article we presented an example work reduced only to basic electronic parts.
with the described laboratory plant. It was a complete process
of designing the controller using one of the methods for PID ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
controller design. Trying out each part helps students to This work was supported by the project SP2018/160,
understand individual problems that may arise during the „Development of algorithms and systems for control,
process. It is also possible to try and solve other tasks from measurement and safety applications IV'' of Student Grant
the theory of control using this laboratory plant. This could System, VSB-TU Ostrava.
be other methods of designing PID controller, for example
experimental method Ziegler-Nichols. It is also possible to This work was also supported by the European Regional
demonstrate wind-up effect and methods of its suppression or Development Fund in the Research Centre of Advanced
bumpless operation in case of switching between manual and Mechatronic Systems project, project number
automate mode. An interesting set of tasks is implementation CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000867 within the Operational
of discrete controllers using algebraic methods, where the Programme Research, Development and Education.
sampling period and therefore the repetition of control
algorithm is substantially longer than with methods based on REFERENCES
continuous controller design. From modern control theory
state space control would be used, as the laboratory plant also Allegro MicroSystems, LLC (2013). A3901 Dual Full Bridge
allows measuring the current going through the motor and Low Voltage Motor Driver [online] Available from:
thus determining state variables. https://www.allegromicro.com/~/media/Files/Datasheets/
A3901-
Compatibility with REX Control System described in Balda Datasheet.ashx?la=en&hash=6119157AB3FE799FAEA
et al. (2005) is also worth mentioning. The given shield board 4470EE686CF6A62B6DBBA
for Arduino Uno (or also Mega version) was implemented in Balda, P., Schlegel, M. and Štětina, M. (2005). Advanced
such a way, so that it would be compatible with Rexduino control algorithms + Simulink compatibility + Real-time
library, which is based on connection of platform Raspberry OS = REX. In: IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-
Pi with Arduino in a form of a periphery. It is possible to use PapersOnline), pp. 121.
all attributes of the laboratory plant and create control Docekal, T. and Ozana, S. (2017). Advanced PID tuning
systems in a graphically oriented development environment based on the modulus optimum method for real systems.
REX Draw. Main advantage of this software tool is the In: AIP Conference Proceedings, 1836
ability to easily create visualization for the system, monitor Golembiovsky, M., Dedek, J. and Ozana, S. (2017).
and save available signals. It is possible to use REX Control Multicopter control with Navio using REX control
System in many applications, examples can be found in system. In: AIP Conference Proceedings, 1836
Ozana et al. (2012) or Golembiovsky et al. (2017). It can be Ozana, S., Pies, M., Slanina, Z. and Hajovsky, R. (2012).
used to realize real time simulations SIL or PIL too, see Design and implementation of LQR controller for
Ozana and Docekal (2017). The virtual laboratory is not the inverted pendulum by use of REX control system.
only concept using remote access to plant; the stand can be In: International Conference on Control, Automation
used to NCS (Network Control System) described in Slanina and Systems, pp. 343.
et al. (2013) with Raspberry Pi as Ethernet transceiver. Ozana, S. and Docekal, T. (2017). The concept of virtual
laboratory and PIL modeling with REX control system.
The described laboratory plant, meaning Arduino platform In: Proceedings of the 2017 21st International
with shield board, motor board and also Raspberry Pi, is Conference on Process Control, PC 2017, pp. 98.
mounted on the plastic stand. It is possible to easily move it Slanina, Z., Otevrel, V., Kazarik, J., and Dojcsan, M. (2013).
from one workplace to another or between laboratories. NCS based regulation for ball on an inclined plane.
Thanks to that it can be used at any university for education In: IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 46(28), pp. 74-77.

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