ASIM 4 - Actuators and Sensors with Intelligent Material Systems 4

Module Description

This class provides the students with engineering tools needed to design control systems and self-sensing architectures for smart material actuators. Two specific types of smart materials are discussed, namely Shape Memory alloys (SMA), and Dielectric Elastomers (DE). First, major control issues of smart material actuators are discussed, and the benefits of feedback control architectures are highlighted. Control-oriented model representation for such actuators are then developed, based on the theory previously studied in ASIM 2. After briefly summarizing basic theoretical results from control theory, a number of position control architectures are discussed, ranging from simple Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers to more advanced nonlinear strategies for trajectory tracking and nonlinearity compensation. Aspects related to the digital implementation of the control systems are also discussed. Finally, self-sensing architectures for various types of smart materials are presented. The theoretical lectures are followed by tutorial sessions, in which the students are taught how to implement the studied control strategies in Matlab/Simulink. At the end of the class, it is expected that the students have gained a deep understanding of the main control-related problems of smart material actuators, and are able to effectively design, simulate, and implement motion control architectures and self-sensing algorithms.

The teaching material will be distributed by the lecturer during the semester.



  • Overview of smart material actuators and their limitations in dynamic applications
  • Modeling of smart material systems
  • Mathematical tools for the analysis and design of control systems
  • Classical requirements and specifications of control systems
  • Set-Point regulation and PID control
  • Trajectory tracking
  • Nonlinear control techniques for smart material systems
  • Digital controller implementation
  • Self-sensing and sensorless control

Additional Info

Responsible Instructor: Jun.-Prof. Gianluca Rizzello​

Assign to Departments: Systems Engineering

Semester: Winter Semester

Admission requirements: no formal requirements, although it is stronhly recommended to take ASIM 2 first

Type of Course: Lecture / Exercise/problem-solving class

Examination: Oral Examination and Project Presentation

Weekly Hours: 3 h/w, of which 2 h/w Lectures and 1 h/w Tutorials

Credit Points: 4