Controls Labs for the Quanser QUBE Servomotor and Pendulum

The Quanser QUBE-Servo combined with NI myRIO and LabVIEW provide a powerful platform for students to learn control systems
This set of ABET-aligned labs introduces students to basic controls concepts using the QUBE™ servo motor. Students will get hands-on experience designing models and control systems for an inertial disc and pendulum, giving students a fundamental background in the theory and experimentation of controlling a system. Then, students can use the skills they've learned to complete advanced labs that relevant to real-world applications including cruise control and steering control. Use the Download button below to acquire resources for the QUBE 2. For QUBE 1 resources, see the resource tab.
by Quanser Inc.


  • Students learn fundamental controls topics, including modeling, second order systems, PID control, stability analysis, moment of inertia, balance control, LQR optimization, and swing-up control
  • Students complete activities to model, control, and optimize control systems, including inertial disc position and pendulum swing-up control
  • Students complete advanced activities to apply control theory to real-world systems, including cruise control and steering control


Level University
Topic Controls
Style Laboratory
Prerequisite Skills Basic Physics, Basic LabVIEW familiarity



Students will build a virtual instrument in LabVIEW that drives a DC motor and measures its angular position. In addition, they will learn about fundamentals of encoders.
Students learn the basics of filters and how they are used to modify signals. Using this knowledge, students use a low-pass filter to eliminate noise of the signal when measuring servo speed.
Students will design a virtual instrument to complete a bump test on the dc motor to acquire model parameters that describe the motor's response. This lab will teach students key information about first order transfer functions as well as system modeling.
Students build a virtual instrument that reads servo speed and position after a step voltage is applied to the motor. Using speed and position, students are able to determine the stability of the system.
Students will use governing equations to generate a virtual instrument that models the servo's velocity. Using an encoder, the student will complete model validation by comparing the actual and simulated responses.
This lab teaches students about second order system models. Students create a virtual instrument that implements unity-feedback to control the motor's position.
This lab introduces students to PD compensators used to control motor position. Students will use given specifications to test the position response of the system.
This lab introduces students to lead compensators used to control motor speed. Students will use given specifications to design a lead compensator that satisfies all requirements.
This lab introduces students to moment of inertia calculations for the rotary pendulum. Students find the moment of inertia analytically and experimentally for comparison.
In this lab, students create a virtual instrument that drives a dc motor and read angles from the rotary arm and pendulum. The instrument is then adjusted to match the model.
This lab introduces students to the common control task of balancing an object. Students design a virtual instrument that balances the rotary pendulum using PD control.
Students use state equations that describe the rotary pendulum to create a model for how it behaves. In this lab, students also design a virtual instrument that applies a signal to the physical system to compare the model and real data.
This lab focuses on designing a virtual instrument to control the swing-up of the pendulum. Students learn about energy control, relating to fundamental kinematics of the pendulum.
Students explore the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) used to find the parameters of the pendulum balance controller.
Students interact with the Quanser HIL Driving Simulator and LabVIEW to teach fundamental car speed control methods. This lab gives students real-world applications of previously described control methods, including electronic throttle control, traction control, and cruise control.
Students interact with the Quanser HIL Driving Simulator and LabVIEW to teach fundamental car position control methods. This lab gives students a real-world application of previously described control methods, including parking assist systems.


An integrated development environment designed specifically for engineers and scientists.


Provides reconfigurable I/O that allows you to teach and implement multiple design concepts with one device.

Quanser QUBE-Servo

The Quanser QUBE-Servo with NI myRIO Connections is a high-fidelity DC servo motor bundle for teaching control theory at an undergraduate level with the real-time control capabilities of NI myRIO. NI myRIO paired with the Quanser QUBE-Servo provides a turnkey, lab-ready solution for students to...

Required Software

Download Academic Software, Learn About Software Licensing
  • myRIO Software Bundle (2015 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW myRIO Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module(Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Mathscript RT Module (Requires license)

Required Hardware

Purchase Engineering Education Products
  • NI myRIO ‒ View Specifications 
  • Quanser QUBE-Servo ‒ User manual included in the download


Instructor resources are available. Get access


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