A network based prototyping system for applications in research and engineering education.
Engineering educators the world over are being faced with the dilemma of combining traditional mathematically intensive courses, like Control Systems and Robotics with advances in computational hardware and software. This is because it is impractical to include both software engineering issues as well as conventional course content. A solution to the problem lies in Rapid Prototyping technology to develop and design software, for application on PC's and embedded systems. Rapid Prototyping, based on automatic code generation, allows users to develop advanced software on high level graphical platforms like Simulink® and LabView®, while " hiding" the underlying layers of complex code. This approach allows the advanced hardware, traditionally reserved for software engineers, to be accessed by a much wider audience and is an ideal educational tool. This thesis presents the complete development of the Rapid Application Development Environment (RADE). The RADE system customises the Mathworks Real Time Workshop (RTW) revision 11 for application on both standalone and networked DS? cards. The functionality of the RTW is incorporated into the RADE system. This affords the user seamless code generation, downloading, on-line parameter tuning and on-line data visualisation with storage capability. An added advantage of the RADE system is its easy portability to multiple target platforms, which is demonstrated by its implementation on two different DSP cards. Finally the functionality of the RADE system is demonstrated as an educational tool, with the demonstration of a DC motor speed and position controller.
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