This paper presents a virtual laboratory of the ball and plate system, which is a two-dimensional extension of the well-known ball-and-beam problem. The ball and plate is a non-linear, multi-variable and open-loop unstable system. Due to its inherent complexity, presents challenging problems, such as: 1) point stabilization control, to carry the ball to a specific position and hold it there, and 2) trajectory tracking control, in which the goal is to make the ball follows a predefined trajectory (linear, square, circle and Lissajous curve) minimizing the tracking error and time. The virtual laboratory, which has been developed with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), provides an interactive 3D simulation of this system that allows to study the two aforementioned problems. This laboratory is used in the Systems and Control Engineering Master Program offered by the National University of Distance Education and Complutense University.
- control engineering education
- distance learning
- Virtual laboratory