dSPACE has introduced a new, compact control system development platform for the laboratory. The MicroLabBox offers high computing power and comprehensive functionality. MicroLabBox simplifies the creation, optimization and testing of controllers, and the implementation of data acquisition applications, while keeping costs under control, for both industry and universities.
Thanks to the powerful combination of a real-time processor programmable from Simulink and the latest high-performance FPGA (field-programmable gate array) from Kintex, the MicroLabBox offers the versatility needed in research and development. With over 100 I/O channels of different types, the MicroLabBox enables engineers to develop innovative applications in robotics, medical engineering, electric motors, renewable energies, household appliances, industrial products, automotive engineering and aeronautics.
This compact, powerful and cost-effective system is also a complete teaching and experimentation tool for universities and training organizations, keen to use the latest industry-standard technology to provide their students with the knowledge they need to innovate.
High computing power and fast I/O
The MicroLabBox features a 2 GHz dual-core real-time processor (PowerPC QorIQ P5020 Freescale) capable of achieving, depending on the application, fast closed-loop cycles of less than 15 µs. For extremely fast control applications, the integrated FPGA can be used for very high-speed calculations. FPGA technology enables exact, parallel and fast I/O processing. The MicroLabBox includes over 100 very diverse I/O interfaces of analog, digital and unconventional types. It features specialized interfaces such as CAN, Ethernet and position encoders. What's more, the MicroLabBox's integrated sensor power supply supplies sensors without the need for additional laboratory equipment.
The MicroLabBox is available in two variants: the top panel variant features Sub-D and BNC connectors for easy wiring when the unit is placed on a desk. The front panel variant provides Sub-D connectors for easy integration of the MicroLabBox on a shelf of laboratory equipment. Connector information is printed on each MicroLabBox and is also included in the I/O blockset of the system implementation software.
The MicroAutoBox can be used with or without a host PC. In stand-alone mode, i.e. without the host PC, the real-time application is loaded from the built-in flash memory at MicroLabBox start-up. A programmable buzzer and a set of programmable LEDS inform the user of the status of the real-time application. A USB connector enables users to save data to a mass storage device.
Comprehensive, user-friendly software
The MicroLabBox is supported by a dSPACE software package including Real-Time Interface (RTI) for model-based I/O integration in Simulink and ControlDesk Next Generation. ControlDesk Next Generation's graphical tools provide access to real-time application variables and parameters during operation. In addition to these tools, dSPACE offers other software modules that complement the MicroLabBox for a variety of use cases.