Interfacing with Motors

In this lab, students will complete activities to control the speed of a DC motor using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), as well as learn how to determine the position of the motor using a quadrature encoder.
by Quanser Inc.

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This is lab 1 of 4 in the course, Mechatronic Systems Analysis.


After completing this lab, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the function and purpose of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM).
  2. Develop a PWM pulse generator.
  3. Use a PWM signal to regulate the dimness of an LED.
  4. Explore PWM generation for regulating motor speed.
  5. Decode encoder data in Quadrature mode.
  6. Implement an encoder decoder in quadrature mode to determine counts and direction.
  7. Understand the importance of running encoder decoding and PWM pulse generation on a FPGA as opposed to a processor.


  • Differential Equations or equivalent
  • Linear Algebra or equivalent
  • Dynamic Systems or equivalent
  • Introduction to Programming or equivalent
  • Basic experience with LabVIEW


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

Quanser Mechatronic Systems Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Mechatronic Systems Application Board is the only solution that takes students from component-level knowledge of sensors, actuators, and interfacing fundamentals to a system-level understanding of mechatronics design.


LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.

Required Software

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  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design & Simulation (Requires License)
    • Vision Acquisition Software (Requires License)
    • Vision Development Module (Requires License)

Required Hardware

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