Teaching Rigid Body Dynamics Using MATLAB and Computational Thinking

Date Time
17 May 2021
10:00 PM EDT


In this presentation, we’ll demonstrate how to use MATLAB to support the teaching of rigid body dynamics – one of the staples in physics and engineering courses.  A collection of case studies from Mechanical and Mechatronic engineering will be presented, spanning 1st year concepts through to more advanced 3rd and 4th year rigid body dynamics.  Specific case-studies will include:

  • Kinematic analysis of a 4-bar linkage
  • Equations of motion of a 3-Link robotic manipulator (Newton)
  • Gyroscopic Boat Stabilization (Lagrange)
  • A quadcopter that balances an inverted pendulum (Lagrange)

Why Attend?

For each case study, a Computational Thinking approach to problem solving will be demonstrated.  MATLAB Live scripts are combined with symbolic computing, allowing the "conceptual" steps of the equation of motion derivation to be clearly defined.  Because the laborious computations are NOT being done by hand, students are "liberated" to apply and explore concepts while they're formulating the solution.

Once the equations of motion are derived, Simulink is used to implement the hand derived equations - allowing the students to see the "cause and effect" behavior for this system.  The hand derived models are also validated against Simscape Multibody models – where CAD like animation viewers are connected to the simulations.

Who should attend?

Teachers and students from Physics and Engineering who have an interest in teaching/learning courses on Engineering Mechanics.

View all events in the Australian Academic Webinar Series

About the Presenter

Bradley Horton is a member of the Academic Customer Success team at MathWorks, helping faculty members better utilize MATLAB and Simulink for education and research. Bradley has supported and consulted for clients on projects in process control engineering, power systems simulation, military operations research, and earthquake impact modelling. Before joining MathWorks, Brad spent 5 years as a systems engineer with the Defense Science & Technology Organization (DSTO) working as an operations research analyst. Bradley holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical engineering and a B.Sc. in Applied mathematics.

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