PID control demonstrator project during a 3-month internship abroad

Between February and July 2012 I was in France with a one semester Erasmus exchange program at I.S.T.I.A. Angers. First three months consisted of courses and labs and during the last three months I had to do this project. The big machine with a rotating beam was “rotting” in the automation lab and my tutor thought of reviving it and transform it into a PID demonstrator for one of his labs.

My job was to design a circuit that would control the machine, program it, and make it somewhat user friendly and suitable for a lab. The hardware was mainly comprised of:

  • a monochrome LCD (parallel control)
  • IR sensor and remote control (Philips RC5 protocol)
  • level converters (0—5V range to -12—+12V range and viceversa) with op amps to PWM drive the motor
  • Arduino Mega

The project was a success and Bertrand Cottenceau, my tutor, sent me a word about one year later:

I confirm that your project on Ball and Beam is still working.
Bertrand (from Cluj, 4/6/14)

Please excuse the video quality.