Video and Webinar Series

Understanding Control Systems

Learn the basic concepts behind controls systems. Walk through everyday examples that outline fundamental ideas, and explore open-loop and feedback control systems.

These videos explore open-loop systems that are found in everyday appliances like toasters or showers. The series illustrates how you can tune these systems using trial-and-error to achieve a desired output. You’ll also learn about situations where open-loop control may fail due to unexpected environmental changes (disturbances) or variations in the system.

Next, you’ll explore the working principles behind feedback control, and discover how it deals with the shortcomings of open-loop control. Basic components of a feedback control system (such as “plants,” “actuators,” and “sensors”) are discussed, along with how these components interact with each other to form a closed-loop control system. You’ll discover how disturbances acting on the plant can affect system output in an undesired way, and how feedback control can compensate for such disturbances. The video series also discusses how noise can enter the system through measurement, which affects the measured output.

Finally, you’ll learn to use MATLAB and Simulink to model and simulate some of the open-loop and feedback control systems introduced in this series.