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This paper presents a novel scheme called “Laboratory Testbed for Embedded Fuzzy Control of a Real Time Nonlinear System.” The idea is based upon the fact that project-based learning motivates students to learn actively and to use their engineering skills acquired in their previous years of study. It also fosters initiative and focuses students' attention on authentic real-world problems. At the same time, it enhances their learning. Students gain hands-on experience and improve their skills in product development, self-directed learning, teamwork, and project management. There has been a tremendous rise in the popularity of intelligent control techniques like fuzzy logic for use in industrial control applications in recent times. These techniques, which were primarily conceived for nonlinear control applications, are best implemented using embedded controllers, which can use their capabilities to the maximum. While courses in electrical and computer engineering cover several areas like digital and analog integrated circuits, microprocessors and control Systems, and process control, few of these integrate all these areas with focus on the application of intelligent techniques in real-time systems. Also, there is a growing need in industry for engineers who can perform software design and system integration for various applications in embedded control. This paper aims at developing such a practical task as one of the major projects in the eighth semester of the program offered by the Instrumentation and Control Engineering (ICE) Department of Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT), Delhi University, India, to design a real-time embedded controller implementing an intelligent control technique, fuzzy logic, for control applications. These applications might, for example, be level control, flow control, or pressure control. The paper discusses an example of a real-time pressure control system for which a microcontroller-based fuzzy proportional-i- - ntegral-derivative (PID) controller has been simulated and implemented with satisfactory results.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011