The University of Minnesota Fluid Power
Controls Laboratory is a teaching and research laboratory
dedicated to the promotion and advancement of fluid power
technologies. Founded in Spring 1999, the laboratory is
generously supported by a consortium of fluid power related
companies. The education mission of the laboratory was kicked
off with the senior level course ME 5232 - Fluid Power Controls
Laboratory in Spring quarter of 1999. This course is later
renumbered as ME4232 with the same name under the semester
system. The research aspect of this laboratory is to use and
advocate the rigorous use of dynamic systems, control and mechatronic concepts to fluid power
systems in innovative ways. Our research has focused on the
design of new fluid power components,
on the development of human friendly hydraulic systems such as teleoperated hydraulic machines and
human power amplifiers, and on the use of fluid power in energy
and transportation systems. With the birth of the Center for
Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) in 2006, research in
the Fluid Power Controls Laboratory has merged with that of the
workbench is used to demonstrate the operation of hydraulic
components. The workbench is powered by a 1Hp variable
displacement pressure compensated vane pump. Students use the
workbench to build hydraulic circuits to enhance their
understanding of fluid power systems.
The electrohydraulic actuator is used as an experimental setup for the design and implementation of control algorithms. The MTS double ended cylinder actuator is coupled to a Moog servo valve. The servo valve is controlled by a PC (NT) via the Realtime toolbox in the Matlab environment. Students can design, simulate, analyze and test control algorithms in the Matlab environment. The actuator is set up for both positioning and force control experiments.
This setup is used for our research on passive teleoperation of hydraulic machines. As the human operator operates the backhoe via the force feedback joystick, the resistance that the backhoe encounters is fed back to the operator. This makes the teleoperated backhoe feels like a passive mechanical tool to the human operator.
The backhoe is also used for generic research of high performance control of multi-degree-of-freedom electrohydraulic machines.
A stringline follower system is widely used in paving industry. It is essentially a dual actuated beam system. Each end of the beam is actuated by a hydraulic actuator. The control must level the beam according to the angle of a string.
Our goal is to develop a mobile
hydraulic actuated human exoskeleton or human amplifier. The
first phase of the project concerns the design and construction
of a human powered oar and was carried out by the Senior Design
These companies have donated equipment.
For more information, please contact: