Accelerating the pace of engineering and science

Teaching Embedded Control Systems at the University of Michigan

Todd Atkins, MathWorks

There is a strong need in industry for students who are proficient in the highly multidisciplinary area of embedded control software development. The performance metrics of an embedded control system lie in the analog physical world, yet the performance limiting component of the system is often the embedded microprocessor. The standard college education does not produce students with expertise in both areas, and students with expertise in one area often do not possess the conceptual framework required to understand issues that arise in the other.

EECS 461: Embedded Control Systems is a senior/first-year graduate-level course that teaches students from diverse backgrounds the fundamentals of embedded control systems. We use technology relevant to the local automotive industry, including the Freescale MPC 5553 microcontroller and a CAN network. We also use MathWorks tools, including MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, and Real-Time Workshop, for modeling, analysis, and (in the last stage of the course) automatic code generation. We develop an embedded controller for a haptic interface, or force feedback system, built by Professor Brent Gillespie of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan.

In this webinar, we describe the course and how it uses industry-relevant technology that both enhances students' employability and introduces them to the recent topics of research interest, such as hybrid systems, control over a network, real-time computing, and human-computer interaction.

View the course description here.

Presenters: Professors Jim Freudenberg and Jeff Cook of the University of Michigan

Product Focus

  • Simulink Coder
  • Simulink
  • Stateflow

Recorded: 16 Feb 2010