Rotary Flexible Joint

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Introduce Vibration Analysis and Resonance Concepts

The Rotary Flexible Joint module is ideal to introduce various control concepts related to vibration analysis and resonance. You can use it to demonstrate real-world control challenges encountered in some industrial large-gear robotic equipment.

The Rotary Flexible Joint module attaches to the Rotary Servo Base Unit (SRV02). Using this experiment, students learn to:

  • modeling the system using Lagrange and find the linear state-space model of the system
  • perform basic model validation
  • design a state-feedback controller using pole-placement
  • simulate the closed-loop flexible joint system
  • implement the designed controller on the device
  • assess the behaviour of implementing a partial-state feedback controller 

In addition to teaching intermediate control concepts, the Rotary Flexible Joint can be used for research in various areas, including optimal control, iterative learning control and iterative design.

How It Works

The Rotary Flexible Joint module consists of a free arm attached to two identical springs. The springs are mounted to an aluminum chassis which is fastened to the Rotary Servo Base Unit load gear. The module attaches to a DC motor on the Servo Base Unit that rotates a beam mounted on a flexible joint.

The Rotary Flexible Joint module is supplied with three distinct pairs of springs, each with varying stiffness. It comes with three base and three arm anchors for the springs, and allows to obtain a wide variety of joint stiffness. The module is also supplied with a variable arm load that can be mounted at three distinct anchor positions to change the length of the load.

Quanser-developed ABET-aligned Courseware Included

The Rotary Flexible Joint module comes with Quanser-developed courseware standardized for ABET evaluation criteria. The workbook with exercises, together with quick start resources, a comprehensive User Manual, pre-designed controllers and a system model allow you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.

  • Flexible Joint module easily attaches to Rotary Servo Base Unit
  • Variable load length and spring anchors to change system parameters
  • Variable spring stiffness
  • High resolution encoder to sense arm position
  • High quality aluminum chassis with precision-crafted parts
  • Easy-connect cables and connectors
  • Fully compatible with MATLAB®/Simulink® and LabVIEW™
  • Fully documented system models and parameters provided for MATLAB®, Simulink®, LabVIEW™ and Maple™
  • Open architecture design allows users to design their own controller
Module dimensions (L x W x H) 10 cm x 8 cm x 5 cm
Module body mass 0.3 kg
Main arm length 29.8 cm
Main arm mass 0.064 kg
Load arm length 15.6 cm
Load arm mass 0.03 kg
Encoder resolution (in quadrature) 4096 counts/rev
Spring # 1 stiffness 187 N/m
Spring # 2 stiffness 313 N/m
Spring # 3 stiffness 565 N/m


Topics included in the Quanser-developed courseware:

Modeling Topics

  • Lagrange derivation
  • State-space representation
  • Model validation
  • Parameter estimation

Control Topics

  • Pole placement
  • Vibration control
The Rotary Flexible Joint module can be also used to teach other topics that are not included in the Quanser-developed courseware.

To set up your Rotary Flexible Joint workstation, you need additional components. Quanser engineers recommend:

for MATLAB®/Simulink® users for LabVIEW™ users
1x SRV02 Rotary Servo Base Unit 1x SRV02 Rotary Servo Base Unit
1x Q2-USB data acquisition device¹ 1x VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier
1x VoltPAQ-X1 linear voltage amplifier Quanser Rapid Control Prototyping Toolkit software
QUARC real-time control software and one of the following options:
  - 1x NI myRIO with 1x Quanser Terminal Board for NI myRIO
  - 1x NI CompactRIO controller with 1x Quanser Q1-CRIO module²
  - 1x NI M- or X-series data acquisition device³ with 1x Quanser NI Terminal Board

¹ alternatively, you can use Q8-USB, QPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by QUARC
² NI cRIO-9074, or NI cRIO-9024 with cRIO-9113 or cRIO-9114 chassis
³ NI DAQ device must be supported by Quanser RCP toolkit. Alternatively, you can use Quanser Q2-USBQ8-USB, or QPIDe

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