View Full Version : Common controls-related circuits / components / algorithms / resources

11-25-2010, 01:53 AM

I have been getting into the Propeller recently and really liking it. I have a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in controls, but don't know much about implementation using electronics. I am interested in implementing the theory I have learned into actual controls projects. Think along the lines of Segway type projects, autonomous flight, or projects of similar scale and complexity.

One thing that I am curious about is if there are some common "go to" circuits, components, or algorithms that are frequently used for some of the more complex controls projects. I don't mean "control" as in, "the microcontroller is controlling that servo." I mean "control" as it relates to control theory (PID, MRAC, and so on). Often control theory dictates use of matrix manipulation and DSP processing. I know the theory but I am not sure about the best way to accomplish things in the electronics world that are quite easy to do with a pencil and paper.

Please share:
-Common components that are used (DSPs, etc.)
-Good online resources for this topic
-Good books on this topic
-Anything else that comes to mind

Thank you!

Mike Green
11-25-2010, 03:02 AM
Look through the Propeller Object Exchange for objects that implement common algorithms, like PID.

Look at the book "Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller", particularly Chapter 6 on the DanceBot balancing robot.

11-25-2010, 03:24 AM
That book looks really cool. Thanks for the tip, Mike. And it's available on Kindle!

11-28-2010, 07:27 AM
Are there any popular chips or circuits out there?

11-28-2010, 03:59 PM
If you are looking for chips and circuits used with the propeller for control applications take a look at the OBEX. There are drivers posted there for a variety of ADC's, sensor IC's, motor control IC's, and other driver IC's. Then you can download data sheets and application notes from the chip suppliers.

11-28-2010, 06:18 PM
I would visit gadget gangster. Nick has some kits that feature "popular" items. The designer kit comes with a set of components he's picked for people building new things, and it is a nice starter selection.