The traditional approach to control education in universities has been to enhance student learning with hardware style experiments. The associated experiments are always constrained by the fact that hardware must be provided. Thus typical experiments use tanks of water, servo motors, inverted pendula etc. These experiments are good in so far as they go. However, quoting a former student, “It is a bit like learning to fly a Jumbo Jet. One has the choice to learn on real hardware (say an ultralight aircraft) or on a simulator of the real aircraft under real flight scenarios”. This paper explores this issue for control education and presents feedback from students comparing traditional hardware experiments with simulated experiments based around real world control system designs.
17th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control, Proceedings of the 17th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (Seoul, Korea 06-11 July, 2008) p. 8129-8134