Arduino microcontrollers are popular and easy-to-program and can be a great option for student-owned control hardware or other embedded control applications. This paper investigates whether or not an Arduino microcontroller has the computational power to implement a sensor fusion observer/controller for vibration suppression of a slewing beam. An additional approach based on combining the Arduino with a Raspberry Pi is also investigated.

Somewhat surprisingly, an Arduino microcontroller is experimentally shown to be capable of implementing a sensor fusion observer and state-space controller for a system with seven states. The floating-point matrix calculations are completed in roughly 2 milli-seconds, implying that real-time feedback control could have update frequencies in the range of 100–400 Hz. Additionally, sensor fusion leads to slight performance improvements over using just one sensor.

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