Virtual access hydraulic experiment for system dynamics and controls education
Book, Wayne John
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A Virtual Access Laboratory (VAL) for undergraduates is currently being built at Georgia Tech. This laboratory will house a three degree of freedom, hydraulically actuated device resembling a fork lift truck. Experiments with the hydraulic equipment can be run remotely via the Internet. Such an experimental apparatus will give students exposure to hydraulics, technology that is used expansively in industry, yet lightly treated in most U.S. undergraduate engineering curricula. The software responsible for providing the user interface and controlling the manipulator is comprised of both client and server programs that communicate via the Internet. The client code is written in Java and features a Graphical User Interface to provide a user-friendly environment for students. Code for the server is written in C++ to run on Windows NT with Hyperkernel for deterministic real-time control. This code will offer the students the ability to run experiments such as system identification, PIO control, and trajectory planning. A camera monitors the system and provides students with visual data.