Introduction: Control Systems

So you want to understand control systems. You may want to determine the difference between a closed loop and open loop control system. This Instructable will help you do this! How can I tell if something is a open or closed loop system? Well you've come to the right place.


For supplies you will might need Matlab/Simulink downloaded on your computer. If you want to make a block diagram of you system. Otherwise you don't really need anything

Step 1: Open Loop System

Is this system an open loop system? Well if you are trying to find out you just need to look for a feedback loop. If you DON'T see a feedback loop that means it is an open loop system.

Step 2: Closed Loop System

Is this system a closed loop system? You just need to look for a feedback loop to find out. If you see a feedback loop that means it is a closed loop system.

Step 3: What Is a Feedback Loop?

When the output of the system feeds back to the input this is a "feedback loop". For example the AC system in a house. The thermostat will measure the temperature of the house and feedback the signal to the controller or input. Once the temperature is too high the AC turns back on and cools the house down again!

Step 4: Open Loop Examples

  • Toaster
  • TV remote control
  • Light switch/light bulb
  • Radio
  • Washing machine and Drier
  • Sprinkler system

Step 5: Closed Loop Examples

  • Cruise control in a car
  • Temperature control (Thermostat)
  • Sunseeker solar panel
  • Smart toaster
  • Voltage Stabilizer