Bringing Interactive Simulations to Control Systems Teaching


There is a growing demand for educational games that help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts presented to them in the classroom. While several such games exist for grade schoolers, they continually decrease in number as students progress through their academic careers, with a limited few games existing for students enrolled in higher education. This website explores how we created an educational game to help underclass university students understand introductory control systems at a conceptual level. Our game, created using the Unity game engine, allows a student to control a simulated rocket by attempting to land it safely on a small platform in the middle of the ocean. Students can compare and contrast landing the rocket manually with using an observer-based or linear quadratic regulator (LQR) controller to help them. This educational game showcases one of the many integral applications of controllers and allows students to visualize how they can impact the behavior of a system.