Development of a low-cost, two-degree-of-freedom spring-cart system and system identification exercises for dynamic modeling

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

Publication Date



Laboratory experiences provide undergraduate engineering students with knowledge that comes primarily from hands-on activity. Some universities may lack necessary funds to utilize some of the equipment used in engineering education; so low-cost alternatives can be constructed. Low-cost laboratory experiences should be designed according to the following requirements: they should provide a framework to assess the achievement of associated learning outcomes, they should provide a visual demonstration of theoretical information, they should be user friendly, and they should provide consistent results. This paper details the construction of a low-cost spring mass damper apparatus and laboratory exercise, for system identification in a dynamic modeling or vibrations course. This paper also describes the methods used for system identification, an assessment framework, and information for accessing the project materials via the author's website and videos on YouTube. The results of an initial test of this laboratory experience with a small student population demonstrate the effectiveness of the lab materials and apparatus in facilitating student learning.



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