Amazing Ball

Amazing Ball is a complete, ready-to-use system for learning and teaching real-time automatic control.
It allows users to explore various control techniques to maintain the ball in a quasi equilibrium position over an oscillating plate, controlled by two servo-motors and a touchscreen. 
The ball can either remain at a fixed reference point or it can trace a pre-determined path.

 

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Download Amazing Ball brochure

 
Opensource software
The control system design is powered by opensource mathematical control tools- SCILAB, SCICOS, and SCICOSLAB. Hence, the user can design the control algorithm in a block diagram inside SCICOS and then using the code generator to generate the C-code and the executable file. The FLEX Boards that control the hardware uses Erika Enterprise, the free of charge open-source real time operative system developed by Evidence.
 
Quick programming
The user can design a complete control system without writing a single line of code because the platform is entirely supported by the Scicos code generator. Matlab/Simulink support for code generation is currently under development!
 
Robust hardware design
Amazing Ball consists of a steel plate pivoted on a central joint (patent pending). The system has 2 degrees of freedom ensured by two servos connected to the plate.
 
Touchscreen feedback
A high resolution touchscreen is mounted on the plate to obtain the coordinates of the ball in real-time.
 
dsPIC® microcontroller
User control algorithms are run on a powerful Microchip dsPIC®33F microcontroller hosted on FLEX boards.  The device has specific hardware modules to acquire ball position coordinates and to generate PWM control output signals. The dsPIC®33F microcontroller can also communicate with other external devices.
 
Real-time execution
Real-time execution of the embedded code is ensured by the ERIKA Enterprise kernel, an innovative RTOS for small microcontrollers based on an API similar to those proposed by the OSEK/VDX Consortium.
 
PC connectivity
Data can be transferred to PC via Ethernet or RS-232 connection.  Other serial communication like RS-485 and CAN can be used to increase the complexity of the system (e.g. central controller in a control systems network).
 
 
 
The Amazing Ball kit contains:
  • 1 x Oscillating plate
  • 1 x Metal ball
  • 1 x Touch screen
  • 2 x Servo motors 
  • 1 x FLEX Light base board
  • 1 x FLEX Demo2 board
  • 1 x FLEX Servo motor plug-in
  • 1 x FLEX Multibus Ethernet Module
  • 1 x FLEX Multibus RS232 Module
  • 1 x FLEX Multibus RS485 Module
  • 1 x FLEX Multibus CAN Module 
  • 1 x Erika Enterprise CD + SCICOS pack
    (updates available from http://erika.tuxfamily.org/)
  • 1 x Power supply (DC 12V, 2000mA)

Important Note: The kit does not include a Debugger/Programmer.

 

Download technical datasheet

 

 

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Request a quote for Amazing Ball.