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Virtual Control Lab

Automatic Control (AC) is the generic term dealing with the operation and continuous regulation of mechanisms. It can be used to control the physical output of systems; for example, cruise control in vehicles is a type of AC. For our research project, we designed virtual machines using the Unity Engine to mimic physical machines, which will allow students to conduct virtual experiments and test their knowledge of AC in a realistic simulated environment. The two machines we worked on were “Ball and Plate” and “Rotary Pendulum”. Both virtual machines use shared memory to exchange data with a separate software controller. We also created a logging window which can track the values in the shared memory and write the data to a log file.