cod. 1010561

Academic year 2024/25
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Automatica (ING-INF/04)
Ingegneria informatica
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course is designed to provide students with the basic foundations required to develop and implement simple control systems. For this reason, laboratory experiences will be an integral part of the learning activities.

In particular, the course will focus on the following key points:
- Analysis of the characteristics of discrete control systems
- Development of controllers by using discretization techniques
- Development of a control system for a DC motor
- Development of a control system for an inverted pendulum

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Implement simple discrete-time control systems
- Calibrate standard PID controllers
- Understand the challenges associated with the development of discrete controllers.


The course requires prior knowledge of some basic concepts in Automatic Control, such as:
- Transfer functions
- System poles and zeros
- System stability

Course unit content

Introduction to Matlab (4 hours)
Introduction to Simulink (2 hours)

Overview on digital controls (2 hours)
- Discrete-time feedback controllers
- Actuators and sensors

Sampled-data systems (4 hours)
- Choice of sampling time
- A/D and D/A converters
- Effects of finite computation delays
- Difference equations and their representations
- Z-transform
- Discrete transfer function

Issues with discrete controllers (2 hours)
- Discretization, quantization, aliasing.
- Discretization design (2 hours)
- Backward transformation method
- Forward transformation method
- Bilinear transformation method
- Pole-zero matching method
- Impulse response invariance method
- Step response invariance method

DC motor (2 hours)
- Electrical model
- Mechanical model
- Transfer function

Control of a DC motor (8 hours)
- State-input feedback
- Equivalent output-input control
- Control discretization
- Simulation and experiment

Standard discrete controllers (5 hours)
- PID controllers and their tuning
- Effects of signal saturation
- Feedforward compensation
- Laboratory implementation

Inverted pendulum (17 hours)
- Equilibrium points
- Model of the Furuta pendulum
- Stabilization of the upper equilibrium point
- Energy stabilization
- Swing-up: simulation and experiment
- Laboratory implementation

Full programme

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Teaching methods

The course is taught through traditional classroom lectures accompanied by practical activities carried out in the laboratory.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exams consist of both a written component and an evaluation of the laboratory activities.

The written part includes theory questions, has a duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes, and allows a maximum score of 16 points. The laboratory activities will be assessed during the course, and a maximum score of 16 points will be assigned to them. The final grade will be the sum of the individual scores (maximum score of 32 out of 30). If the final grade exceeds 30 out of 30, a distinction will be awarded.

Other information

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