Analog and labview-based control of a maglev system with NI-ELVIS

R. Sinha, M. L. Nagurka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the control of a low cost vertical-axis maglev system for mechatronics and controls education. The tabletop maglev system consists of an electromagnetic coil that levitates a ferrous object using an infrared sensor to determine the object's position. Based on the sensor output, the controller adjusts the coil current, thus changing the magnetic field controlling the levitated object's position, A second electromagnetic coil is used to provide known disturbances. The paper develops the underlying theory for magnetic levitation and presents the results of experiments with classical controllers implemented both as analog circuits and in software-based virtual instruments. Analog controllers, such as PID-type controllers, were implemented as simple circuits on National Instruments' Educational Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite (NI-ELVIS) prototyping board. NI-ELVIS offers a LabVIEW-based prototyping environment for readily experimenting with different controller circuits. It consists of a multi-function data acquisition device and a custom-designed benchtop workstation with a prototyping board. In addition to analog control circuits, a suite of LabVIEW-based controllers were developed which offer in software a rapid way to change control strategies and gains and explore the effect on the physical system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division 2005
Number of pages6
Edition1 PART A
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2005 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 5 Nov 200511 Nov 2005

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Dynamic Systems and Control Division (Publication) DSC
Number1 PART A
Volume74 DSC


Conference2005 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Software


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