Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (7-30-12): Re-evaluating PID algorithms in the age of MEMS - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Tech Focus Newsletter (7-30-12): Re-evaluating PID algorithms in the age of MEMS

Embedded Newsletter for 07-30-2012

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July 30, 2012

Tech Focus: Re-evaluating PID algorithms in the age of MEMS


A stepwise method for tuning PI controllers using ITAE criteria

Case study of PID control in an FPGA

Make a PI controller on an 8-bit micro

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

After reading “A stepwise method for tuning PI controllers using ITAE criteria” I was inspired to take a look at the current uses of PID (Proportional/Integratal/Derivative) algorithms, long a building block for virtually every embedded motor control design.

What I found surprised me. The use of PID algorithms is now appearing in support of Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) in a new generation of motor control apps in the industrial automation, robotics (both civilian and mil/aero) and automotive markets. In addition, developers are looking at the use of PID algorithms in MEMS-based mechatronics designs in embedded consumer apps (games) and next generation smartphones where motion sensors and micro-machines based on MEMS are becoming common. A few of the notable papers that I came across include:

Modeling and control of hard disk drives in mobile applications (PDF)
Design and construction of a control system for a ball-shaped robot(PDF)
Tuning algorithms for PID control using soft computing techniques(PDF)
Development of a Self Balanced Robot & its Controller(PDF)
Visual tracking and hovering flight control with an MCU (PDF)

To provide a refresher course in the use of the PID algorithms, here are a number of design articles, white papers, webinars and online classes on PID and motor control, of which my Editor's Top Picks are:

Case study of PID control in an FPGA
Make a PI controller on an 8-bit micro
Quick and Efficient PID Control Design
Automatic Level Controller for Speech Signals Using PID

The extremely small size of the MEMS-based motor control designs in consumer and mobile apps may also mean that the PID algorithms as they are traditionally used may have to be re-evaluated and adapted to these new environments. I look forward to hearing from you about your experiences in the use of PID algorithms, both in traditional apps as well as new ones.

Design How-Tos

A stepwise method for tuning PI controllers using ITAE criteria

This article provides a brief overview of the ITAE [Integral of the time weighted absolute error] method for PI tuning, describing a stepwise method to be followed for a variety of field oriented motor control apps.

Case study of PID control in an FPGA

The authors describe how they implemented a very high performance digital PID controller loop in an FPGA, detailing why an FPGA was chosen, as well as PID control considerations specific to an FPGA implementation and its verification and HW/SW integration.

Make a PI controller on an 8-bit micro

Normally the domain of more expensive 16- and 32-bit chips, PI controllers are useful in all sorts of industrial applications. Here's a practical way to implement a PI controller on a low-cost 8-bit chip.

Using simulation software to simplify DSP-based Electro-Hydraulic Servo Actuator Designs: Part 1

Richard Poley describes the basics of electro-hydraulic servo systems and how to use Matlab's Simulink to do “hardware-in-the-loop” design a DSP-based control system.

Using block diagrams as a system design “language” – Part 1

In the first of a two part series, Tim Wescott, author of “Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems,” describes how you can use block diagrams as a system design “language” for control system analysis and design.

Combining Model-Driven and Model-Based Design in industrial and machine control

Two popular approaches to high level embedded design, model-based development using Simulink and model based design using UML/SysML can be used effectively in a wide range of robotic and machine control systems.

The basics of doing PID design: Part 1 – Classical control theory

In this first of a three part series, robotics pioneer John Holland provides a brief tutorial on the basics of the proportional, integral and derivative (PID) algorithms and their effective use in many robotic, machine and industrial control applications. Part 1: Classical control theory.

PID without a PhD

PID (proportional, integral, derivative) control is not as complicated as it sounds. Follow these simple implementation steps for quick results.

Proportional-integral-derivative explained

Proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithms are widely used due to their effectiveness and simplicity. Here are some tips to make them even easier and more effective.

Rapid Design and Protoyping of Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) Controllers

Model-based design can speed design, tuning, test, and implementation of PID controllers for industrial applications.

Implementation of a digital temperature PID controller

Described is the implementation of a digital temperature PID controller. Various temperature control system configurations and aspects of their practical implementation are analyzed.

Open-Source Robotics and Process Control: Sensor, Actuator and Control Circuit Examples – Part 1

Learn how to prototype complex systems such as robotics with this excerpt from the book “Open-Source Robotics and Process Control Cookbook,” which offers techniques and example code using an autonomous submarine project as an example.

Designing DSP-based motor control using fuzzy logic

The increased use of variable-speed drive motors to reduce energy consumption will require a shift from PID controllers to systems based on fuzzy logic algorithms to simplify design, reduce development time, and elminate complex math formulas.

2012 Embedded Market Survey webinar

UBM Electronics' 17th annual survey of embedded systems designers worldwide shows trends in software and hardware usage. The 2012 Embedded Market Survey also looks at languages, productivity, and the challenges design teams rank as most important. A webinar on Friday April 20 will examine the results from over 1,700 respondents from across the embedded industry, the dataset enables a deep analysis to track key changes in this important electronics industry segment. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions online. To register click here .


Free speech, PID, DSP libraries for Cortex-M3

Free speech and DSP libraries are now available for the STM32, ST's ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller.

Honeywell SMART Position Sensor boasts 360° non-contact position sensing

Honeywell's new SMART position sensor provides 360° non-contact angular position sensing.

Microchip DSCs take digital power control mainstream

Emphasizing low cost, small size, low power and flexibility, Microchip's GS Series digital signal controllers is its effort to increase its share of a digital power market that it believes is going mainstream and will grow at a compound annual rate of 40 percent.

TI announces Piccolo MCU motor control kits with power factor correction

Texas Instruments announced two new Piccolo Motor Control Kits that enable PFC and sensorless field-oriented control of up to two motors with a single low-cost microcontroller (MCU).

Microsemi's advanced motor control algorithms for SmartFusion cSoCs

SmartFusion cSoCs (chips with MCU, programmable digital, and programmable analog) provide cost-effective solutions ideal for safety-critical applications.

FPGA-based dual motor control kit from Microsemi and TRINAMIC

Solution includes SmartFusion mixed-signal FPGA (with embedded microcontroller) evaluation kit and motor control daughter board kit…

News & Analysis

TTi : Analog PID controller allows easy user configuration

The SIM960 analog PID controller is the latest addition to the SRS SIM (Small Instrumentation Modules) family.

Tool automates PID design in FPAAs

The AnadigmPID EDA tool automates the development of analog PID control loops.

Free Live Webinar: Achieving max efficiency / Precision motor control with Xilinx FPGAs

I just heard from the folks at Xilinx about a rather interesting free live webinar on a subject that is dear to my heart – motor control using FPGAs…

Renesas Technology : Motor controller controls two high-end industrial drives

SH7285, the latest member of Renesas Technology's SuperH line-up of products, has been designed for the high-end drives, AC servos and general-purpose inverter markets. It offers up to 768 k of fast MONOS (Metal Oxide Nitride Oxide Silicon) embedded Flash enabling the CPU clock to run at 100 MHz.

Avnet launches Motor Control 101

The Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas (EMA) business region of Avnet, Inc. has released its latest technical series of multimedia instructional videos, Motor Control 101.


The case of the not-so-melodious motor

A young engineer upstages an older co-worker while investigating the source of an ear-piercing tone in a disc drive test system.

Small motor control efficiency gains deliver big energy savings

Virtual Conference Keynote Address details global energy usage to power motors.

A few inventions I’d like to see

I wish an engineer would develop a mobile force field like a key fob, press a button and an impenetrable shield forms around your body.

An engineer goes to war

Lt. EE was a degreed engineer who received a direct appointment as a Navy officer with the intention that he would report to a training command in Florida and teach RADAR and radio to sailors. But, as is bound to happen occasionally, there was a regular naval officer with exactly the same rank and name. Inevitably, their orders got crossed.

There is no trust in China and that’s a p

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