Quanser QUBE and NI myRIO

Quanser QUBE Servo-2 and NI myRIO 
We use our myRIO for many things, but it is great to find powerful prototype-like control systems that are suitable for myRIO. This is the case of Quanser's QUBE, a great system for learning Control Engineering.

Quanser makes incredible equipment for teaching laboratories and the likes. From time to time we try and get some of their equipment, and one of our acquisitions is the QUBE-Servo 2. It makes possible to implement the control of an inverted pendulum system, which is one of the classics in Control Engineering. If you want more info on the QUBE, check the next URL:


We can control the QUBE system with several devices. It comes by default with a USB communications interface, but we acquired the QUBE with the so-called embedded interface, which makes it possible to control the motor with any microcontroller that supports SPI. SPI is a communication protocol we are strongly interested in, since many of our systems are able to use it and it is quite simple in terms of connections and programming. It is similar to I2C, another of our all-time favorites.

There is also a specific interface for our myRIO, but, damn!, it is a bit expensive and we have not one. So, what could we do?

We said it runs SPI and myRIO runs SPI, so... there might be a way to connect both! We started reading the manuals and, great! we only need a digital output and the standard SPI connections to make it possible to run the myRIO examples to control the QUBE. Great!

In the first figure you can see how the embedded interface connector looks like.
QUBE-myRIO connection scheme

And in the second figure you have the connection scheme.

 There you have a video of the system working. If you want more information on this, do not hesitate to contact us.