UCSB ME 106A and ECE 147C, Spring 2013
ME106A “Advanced Mechanical Engineering Lab” & ECE 147C “Control Systems Project”
Instructor: Francesco Bullo

This is the syllabus for the UCSB course ME 106A “Adv Mech Engr Lab” and ECE 147C “Control Systems Proj”, Spring 2013 (lecture times during period: 02apr2013 through 06jun2013).

This information is always available and updated at the URL http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME106A-Spring2013/syllabus.html.

1. Laboratory Sessions and MidTerm Project Report

  • There will be weekly laboratory sessions to complement the material covered in the lectures. A portion of the laboratory should be prepared before the lab session.

  • Schedule: TBA

  • Weekly 3 hour sessions: Harold Frank Hall, room: 3120A

  • LABORATORY GROUPS and SESSIONS. Students will work in pairs. Each group will attend one of the two weekly laboratory sessions. The composition of the groups and the timing of the laboratory sessions will be decided during the first week of class.

  • Most laboratories will require the use of MATLAB/Simulink with the CONTROL SYSTEMS and IDENTIFICATION Toolboxes. The first laboratory class will be held during the second week of classes. The TA will use this class to introduce students to the equipment. Please print and read the following handout before the class (you can ignore the pre-lab exercises): Laboratory Manual.

  • EXAMPLE LABORATORY MIDTERM PROJECT REPORT. The following document provides a general description of what the students are expected to do before and during the lab and it also serves as a template for the final lab midterm report that will be turned in the middle of the quarter. The final project report (due at the end of the quarter) should also follow this basic template: Project Report #1

2. Homework Assignments

There will be a few homework assignments to be solved to prepare for the laboratory sessions and to complement the lectures. Please respect the deadlines for the homework assignments. The TA may accept late assignments for a couple of days after the deadline, but these will only get 50% of the full grade. Moreover, once solutions are posted you will get no credit for the assignment.

The assignments will be based on the lecture notes developed by Professor Joao Hespanha. The PDF file is available here.

3. Final Projects Report and Final Project Presentation

The second half of the laboratory time is devoted to the final project. Possible projects include

  • Identification and control of the seesaw system (in hardware)

  • Identification and control of an inverted pendulum (in hardware)

  • Identification and control of the Rijke Tube (in hardware)

  • Identification and control of a flexible beam (in simulation)

  • Identification and control of an F-16 (in simulation, model available here)

  • other … (either in hardware or simulation)

The final project must make extensive use of two out of the four topics taught in the lectures, which are Model Identification, Robust Control, LQG/LQR, Nonlinear Control.

You will be responsible to produce a Final Project Proposal, a Final Project Report and deliver a Final Project Presentation.

Examples of final project reports. These are examples and are not to be followed verbatim.

Information related to your possible projects is available here

Week 1: April 2 and 4
First subjects

  • LABORATORY: Lab session enrollment. Complete survey for Group Formation and Assignment to Laboratory Session.


    • 1. Course overview. Computer-controlled systems (review). Chapter 1.

    • 2. Part I - Model identification and parameter estimation. Least-squares parametric identification. Chapter 2.

Week 2: April 9 and 11

  • LABORATORY: Introduction to the laboratory. Print and read the Laboratory Manual; you can ignore the pre-lab exercises.


    • 1. ARX model identification. Chapter 3.

    • 2. Partial identification (known parameters). Choice of inputs, model order and sampling frequency. Chapter 4.

Week 3: April 16 and 18

  • LABORATORY: Read the Project Report #1. Parametric identification of the two-cart system


    • 1. Nonparametric identification. Chapter 5.

    • 2. Nonparametric identification (cont.) Chapter 5.

Week 4: April 23 and 25

  • LABORATORY: Closed-loop control of the identified model.


    • 1. Part II- Loop shaping control design

    • 2. Loop shaping control design (cont.)

  • HOMEWORK due on Tuesday April 23:

    • Exercises 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 of the textbook.

    • For the identification parts, please write your own matlab routines as opposed to using the matlab command arx.

    • Data for Exercise 3.2 (selected parameters)

    • Simulink file and m-script for Exercise 4.1 (input magnitude)

    • Data for Model-order Exercise 4.2 (model order)

    • For the lab work, you will need to adapt exercise 3.1 to take into account that the system has an integrator (instead of a zero at a known location).

    • The MATLAB scripts for exercises 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 will be useful to perform parametric identification with the data collected in the lab (tentatively starting on Apr 16)

Week 5: April 30 and May 2

  • LABORATORY: Closed-loop control of the identified model (continued).


    • 1. Part III- Robust control. Frequency domain uncertainty

    • 2. Loop-shaping control design

  • FINAL PROJECT PROPOSAL, due on May 2, consisting of 1-2 paragraph description of your proposed final project. Please make sure that you include the following information:

    • Which system do you plan to control?

    • What variables to you plan to control, which variables can you measure?

    • What type of closed-loop specifications make sense for that problem?

    • Do you plan to use simulation or experiments? In case you plan to use simulations, where will you get the model from? (We may be able to give you a hand here)

    • Which two out of the four topics taught in the lectures (Model Identification, Robust Control, LQG/LQR, Nonlinear Control) will the project make extensive use?

Week 6: May 7. No Class on Thursday May 9

  • LABORATORY: Final Project (Weeks 6-10)


    • 1. Part IV- Optimal control: LQR/LQG (LQR problem)

    • 2. Loop-shaping using LQR

  • MID-TERM LABORATORY REPORT, due on Thursday, May 9th (postponed to May 16th)

    • The report must follow the template in the Laboratory section of the web page.

    • There is a strict limit on the page length: at most 10 pages, 10pt, 1in margins. This must include all figures, plots, abstract, introduction, discussion of results, conclusions, etc.

    • To fit everything in 10 pages, you must be very selective in which figures to include. You will also need to overlay several plots. E.g., you may show the identified process Bode plots for several different inputs all in the same figure (remember to label everything so that it is clear which line corresponds to what!).

    • Your report must also include text (and equations) to explain the process model, to justify the choices that you made, and to discuss the results that you obtained. The main objective of the report is to support the claim that the model that you identified is accurate and that the controller that you designed is good. You should think of the report as a conference paper and not as a homework assignment.

    • A significant portion of the grade will be based on the quality of the report (length, completeness, how well it reads, etc.)

  • HOMEWORK due on May 9:

    • Exercises 5.1, 5.2 from the textbook. 5.1, 5.2 from the textbook.

    • Simulink file for Exercises 5.1 (step response) and 5.2 (correlation method)

    • (If you are taking the course for 3 credits you do not need to turn in these assignments)

Week 7: May 14 and 16

  • LABORATORY: Final Project (Weeks 6-10)


    • LQG/LQR output-feedback

    • Loop-gain recovery

Week 8: May 21 and 23

  • LABORATORY: Final Project (Weeks 6-10)


    • Part V- Control of nonlinear systems. Feedback linearization

    • Lyapunov stability theorem

  • HOMEWORK due on May 23:

    • Exercises 6.2, 6.3, 7.1 of the robust control module.

    • Simulink file for Exercise 6.2 (Noisy identification)

    • (If you are taking the course for 3 credit you do not need to turn in these assignments)

Week 9: May 28 and 30

  • LABORATORY: Final Project (Weeks 6-10)

  • LECTURES: Lyapunov-based control design

Week 10: June 4 and 6

  • LABORATORY: Final Project (Weeks 6-10)


  • FINAL PROJECT REPORT, due on Thursday, June 6th.

    • This report should follow the same guidelines as the mid-term project report.

    • Please read all comments that you will receive regarding the mid-term project report and make sure that you follow any advice given when you prepare the final project report.

    • A significant portion of the grade will be based on the quality of the report (length, completeness, how well it reads, etc.)

Finals Week = Final Project Presentations

  • Monday, June 10, 2013

  • 12pm-3pm

  • FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATION. The presentations of the final project will take place in the laboratory and take 30 minutes. For group projects all students should participate in the presentation. The presentation should use a computer projector. The presentation should include:

    • presentation outline

    • description of the system to be controlled, sensors, and actuators (use pictures!)

    • description of the control objectives

    • identification method and summary of the identification results (if the project involves identification)

    • control design method and summary of the closed-loop performance achieved

    • simulation results

    • hardware results (if the project involves hardware)

    • hardware demo (if the project involves hardware)

    • conclusions and discussion of future work

How to learn MATLAB

  • MATLAB video tutorials by MathWorks: (html) and demos (html)

  • MATLAB Primer (version 3, by Kermit Sigmon): (pdf)