System dynamics take-home laboratory kits

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



To make the teaching of dynamic systems concepts more engaging and interesting to students, we need to relate class theory to the dynamic performance of real engineering systems including ones that are available at home. This paper addresses the design of take-home software and hardware kits that can be used to perform laboratory experiments and measurements at home to improve the understanding of system dynamics concepts in an undergraduate student population. Rather than having students perform an experiment in the university laboratory, the students are given a compact, low cost kit with which they can perform an experiment at home using their own PC/laptop. The kits are designed so that the experiments can be conducted on a provided experimental setup or can be used to perform dynamic measurements on engineering systems that are available at home such as motor powered devices and heating/cooling systems. The take-home kit consists of three components. The first component is a hardware interface board that interfaces with the student's PC/laptop and with the experiment hardware. The second component is the User-Interface Program that is loaded on the student's PC/laptop and is used to run the experiment and collect data. The third component is the actual experimental setup or the sensor system to perform the measurement. This paper addresses the hardware and software design aspects of the kits as well as the development of two experimental setups. These setups are: a DC motor with tachometer, and a temperature measurement system. The kits are planned to be initially tested in two mechanical engineering courses in the Spring 2009 semester. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2009.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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