In order to achieve successful results in the control courses for a multidisciplinary audience, a high abstraction layer at programming is required. This abstraction is provided by a custom developed rapid control prototyping system that enables the usage of model based design techniques to control real plants. Model based design is focused on the research and development of the control algorithm, system identification and plant modelling. The usage of the proposed embedded rapid control prototyping system eliminates completely the need for low level input/output control hardware configuration and debugging, making the system capable to be used by the intended multidisciplinary audience, since model based design focuses on design and analysis techniques and shows the relationships between control theory and real controller implementation issues. Several controllable real plants are ready to be used by students, from Bachelor, Master Thesis and Ph.D. degrees. They come from many engineering fields including mechanical, electrical... Also the common drawbacks of commercial rapid control prototyping systems are avoided thanks to the customized low cost rapid control prototyping system presented in this article.
control engineering education; teaching tand automation laboratories; cad/cam and cim; hysteresis