Tutorial Alberto Soria 

 Alberto Soria López 

Departamento de Control Automático, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN

Av. IPN 2508, México D.F., México

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ALBERTO SORIA received the B. Eng. Degree in Electronic Engineering from the UAM-I, México, in 1992, the M. Sc. and Ph. D. of Industrial Sciences from the Université de Evry, France, in 1994 and 1999. He is currently an Associated Professor at the Automatic Control Department, CINVESTAV, México. His research interests include Systems Biology, Control Education, Robotics, Fuzzy systems and Visual Servoing.



Free software undergraduate portable USB based  control education platform  


September 18, 2017 , 9:00-14:00 hrs , Limited to 18 participants, book your place in advance ( link available on  August 25 , http://cce.cinvestav.mx/index.php/registration-forms)

Information in  PDF file

Registration: http://cce.cinvestav.mx/index.php/registration-forms




In this workshop we propose a USB based control platform with a high speed USB communication interface using the Linux based free software Scilab/XCos/RTAI.  The workshop consists of six hands on presentations on the use of the experimental platform for teaching the main automatic control concepts such as stability, model, transfer function, current loop, parameter tuning, proportional control action, integral control action and derivate control action.

Keywords—Free software, Linux, RTAI, SCilab, XCos, PD control.|


I. Objective and Expected Outcome

It is very common that students in areas of engineering, including control engineering, robotics, biomedical engineering and mechatronics among others, carry out a final project in order to obtain their degree. In many cases, much of the work focuses on the hardware implementation, leaving aside theoretical and very important aspects such as modeling and control. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce some of the theoretical concepts of automatic control in an experimental environment using laboratory prototypes in order to reduce the gap between theory and practice. It is important to point out that although in many cases learning the theory of automatic control by computer simulations is appropriate, in many others their understanding is improved by experimenting with physical systems. This experimental workshop shows the use of rapid prototyping environment based on free software allowing participants to appreciate the use of theory in some applied aspects of Automatic Control that can be appealing for students as well for teachers. The laboratory prototype employs a direct current motor with electronic instrumentation and all necessary power supplies. The implementation of control laws is performed using Scilab/XCos/QrtaiLab/RTAI environment.

II.    Workshop Outline

The workshop consists of five hands on presentations. The first one allows participants to become familiar with the environment and some concepts for the use of experimental platforms plus an introduction to rapid prototyping. The modeling is addressed in second and third parts. The last two presentations addressed control aspect such as proportional integral (PI) control and proportional control derivative (PD). The minimum to perform the practical requirement is to properly handle the concept of transfer function. The material will be covered in two 3 hour sessions.

1: Familiarization with the control environment in real time. Linux/Scilab/XCos/RTailab/RTAI and experimentation platform. Introduction to rapid prototyping. Concepts addressed: real-time control, simulation.

2: Modeling a DC motor. Modeling of a DC motor and assumptions for simplification of the model using a current loop in the power amplifier is presented. Concepts covered: DC motors, modeling, model simplification, current loop.

3: Transfer function of DC motor and tuning of the current loop. Concepts covered: transfer function, parameter tuning, current loop.

4: Speed control of a DC motor using a Proportional Integral (PI) control law. Concepts addressed: feedback, stability, proportional action, integral action, regulation.

5:  Position control of a DC motor using Proportional Derivative control law. Concepts addressed: feedback, stability, proportional action, damping in mechanical systems, derivative action, gain tuning.


Six complete portable platforms will be made available for CCE 2017, including the experimental platforms with USB interface and laptop computers. This can allow from 2-3 participants per platform involved directly in manipulation allowing up to 18 participants that can attend the workshop. An electrical 127 V 50/60 HZ supply is required. Figure 1 shows the system structure, Figure 2 shows the experimental platform and Table 1 shows platform specifications.



Figure 1. System structure.



Figure 2. DC Servomechanism experimental platform.


Voltage supply

110 V AC.

Current supply

2 A.


29.0 by 12.5 by 10 cm.


2.64 Kg.

Optical encoder resolution

2500 per revolution. Can be incremented up to 10,000 by software.

Required Software

Scilab/Xcos 5.5.0/Qrtailab 0.1.13.

Kernel Linux Lubuntu 3.8.13

RTAI 4.1.


Communication interface

USB 2.0 High-speed 480 Mbits/sec.


Table 1. Platform specifications.




Instructor: SENSITEC, S.A. de C.V. (www.sensitec.mx)


TUT2: Strain-Gage-Based Transducers: Characteristics, Selection and Installation


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

9:00 -11:30 hrs

Chairman : Dr. Gerardo Silva-Navarro

 Registration: http://cce.cinvestav.mx/index.php/registration-forms



This tutorial will be focused to technicians, engineers and people involved in design, manufacturing or testing strain-gage-based transducers using technology for stress and strain analysis. During the seminar will be presented a review of materials, components, production methods and testing methods used to build these devices. Some important topics as basic strain gage (strain gauge) characteristics, gage installation techniques, Wheatstone bridge circuits, temperature compensation, zero-balance compensation, gage protection methods and selection for specific materials will be also considered.



Instructors: SENSITEC, S.A. de C.V. (www.sensitec.mx ) & Kistler Mexico (www.kistler.com/mx/es/)


TUT3: Piezoelectric Technology and Engineering Applications


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

12:00 – 14:00 hrs

Chairman : Dr. Gerardo Silva-Navarro

Registration: http://cce.cinvestav.mx/index.php/registration-forms




The piezoelectric effect was discovered in some naturally occurring materials by Pierre and Jacques Curie in 1880. It remained a mere curiosity until the 1940’s, when the property of certain polycrystalline ceramic materials to exhibit electrical charges under mechanical loading was of no practical use until very high input impedance amplifiers enabled engineers to amplify their signals. In the 1950’s electrometer tubes of sufficient quality became available and the piezoelectric effect was commercialized. Since then, Quartz and other natural crystals found applications in microphones, accelerometers and ultrasonic transducers, and until the advent of man-made piezoelectric materials widened the field of applications to include sonar, hydrophones, and piezo-ignition systems. Today, piezoelectric applications include smart materials for vibration control, automotive, aerospace and astronautical applications of flexible surfaces and structures and novel applications for vibration reduction in modern equipment. During the tutorial, a general presentation of a wide range of solutions for measurement using the technology of piezoelectric materials will be detailed.






Awaiting confirmation of the  speakers, more information will be published in this page.