This paper describes a new control experiment developed for Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students. The experiment with a Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuated robotic arm is designed for the senior undergraduate laboratory (ME4006) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. ME4006 is designed to provide the students with experience in experimental investigation of mechanical engineering systems. In designing this control experiment it was intended for the students to have a hands-on experiment with smart materials. Furthermore, students learn about control problems and limitations of theses materials along with sensing and actuation advantages of the SMAs. The experiment uses a problem solving approach; students are not given a procedure to follow for conducting the experiment. The problem is described in a memorandum to the students from a supervisor, who defines the purpose of the problem and defines the audience for the report.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.