Students interact with a complete mechatronic system from low-level integration, through sub-systems and processes, to the higher-level automation algorithms. Designed for NI ELVIS III.

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A mechatronic system can be anything from an industrial robot arm, to an autonomous car, to your home washing machine. It is the collection of software, mechanical, and electronic subsystems into a cohesive functional unit. This lab manual provides hands-on experience with a complete mechatronic system from low-level integration through the essential systems and processes to the higher-level automation algorithms. Each activity emphasizes the interplay between mechanical actuation, kinematics, image processing and control. The structure of the lab activities combines concept exploration and self-directed challenges with classic laboratory experiments to truly prepare students for the task of designing complex mechatronic systems.

Quanser Inc.


Through these labs, students will learn to:

  1. Describe the process by which rotary position is measured using encoders.
  2. Describe the form and function of PWM signals and how these signals are used to drive DC motors.
  3. Explain the relation between joint-space and task-space manipulator control.
  4. Apply kinematic equations to convert between joint and task-space.
  5. Design a PID joint controller using manual tuning that meets design requirements.
  6. Select appropriate thresholds for isolating specific image information.
  7. Describe the process and function of blob detection algorithms.
  8. Explain the process and application of pattern matching algorithms.
  9. Construct a state machine.
  10. Apply image processing, manipulator control, and state machine logic to complete a mechatronic task.




Level Undergraduate
Topic Mechatronic Systems
Style Laboratory, Project Based Learning
Prerequisite Skills
  • Differential Equations or equivalent
  • Linear Algebra or equivalent
  • Dynamic Systems or equivalent
  • Introduction to Programming or equivalent
  • Basic experience with LabVIEW


Interfacing with Motors

In this lab, students will complete activities to control the speed of a DC motor using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), as well as learn how to determine the position of the motor using a quadrature encoder.

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Controlling Manipulators

In this lab students will first complete activities that apply the fundamentals of PID Joint Control, Forward Kinematics, and Inverse Kinematics using the Quanser Mechatronic Systems Board and LabVIEW. Then, they will apply their experience by optimizing the system to an certain maximum error specification while it follows different trajectories.

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Processing Images

This lab applies process level algorithms such as thresholding, pattern recognition, and blob detection to detect different features such as stars, plus signs, etc., as well as determining the state of traffic lights. Students begin by learning the theory and background of image processing. They will then get the chance to implement the knowledge using the mechatronic systems board and detect images using their coding skills.

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System Level Control

In this lab, students begin by studying and implementing a state machine system architecture to configure the mechatronic systems board to scan an image without requiring user input. Then, the student will complete a culminating goal-directed line following project in which they will configure the full system, including image processing, position control, and state machine architecture, to accomplish the task.

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LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.

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Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

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Quanser Mechatronic Systems Board for NI ELVIS III

Quanser Mechatronic Systems Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Mechatronic Systems Application Board is the only solution that takes students from component-level knowledge of sensors, actuators, and interfacing fundamentals to a system-level understanding of mechatronics design.

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Detailed Requirements

Required Software

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  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design & Simulation (Requires License)
    • Vision Acquisition Software (Requires License)
    • Vision Development Module (Requires License)

Required Hardware

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Instructor resources are available.

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User Manual and Lab Manual - Spanish


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