Rotary Flexible Link

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Introduce Students to Vibration Analysis and Resonance Control Concepts

The Rotary Flexible Link module is ideal to introduce various control concepts related to vibration analysis and resonance. You can use it to demonstrate real-life control challenges encountered in large, lightweight structures that exhibit flexibilities and require feedback control for improved performance.

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

  • find the stiffness experimentally
  • use Lagrange to develop the system model
  • develop and implement a feedback control using the linear-quadratic regulator

In addition to teaching intermediate control concepts, the Rotary Flexible Link can be used for research in various areas, including fuzzy logic, robust control and optimal control.

How It Works

The Rotary Flexible Link module consists of a strain gage which is held at the clamped end of a thin stainless steel flexible link. The DC motor on the Rotary Servo Base Unit is used to rotate the flexible link from one end in the horizontal plane.

The motor end of the link is instrumented with a strain gage that can detect the deflection of the tip. The strain gage outputs an analog signal proportional to the deflection of the link.

Quanser-developed ABET-aligned Courseware Included

The Rotary Flexible Link 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.


  • High resolution strain gage to sense link deflection
  • Flexible Link module easily attaches to the Rotary Servo Base Unit
  • 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  H) 48 cm x 2 cm
Flexible link length (strain gage to tip) 41.9 cm
Strain gage bias power ±12 V
Strain gage measurement range ±5 V
Strain gage calibration gain 2.54 cm/V
Flexible link mass 0.065 kg
Flexible link rigid body inertia 0.0038 kg.m²

Topics included in the Quanser-developed courseware:

Modeling Topics

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

Control Topics

  • Linear-quadratic regulator
  • Vibration control

The Rotary Flexible Link module can be also used to teach other topics that are not included in the Quanser-developed courseware.

To set up your Rotary Flexible Link 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 controller² with 1x Quanser Q1-CRIO module
  - 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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