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Before choosing courseMF2008 Embedded Control Systems 9.0 creditsAdministrate About course

The course gives insight in Embedded Control Systems (ECS) development from requirements and architectural design to implementation. The course ties together early knowledge of control theory with software programming and microprocessor systems. You will be given the opportunity to learn about the techniques necessary for the software implementation of control applications in embedded computer systems. A theoretical and practical approach to the problem is provided.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus MF2008 (Autumn 2009–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course includes

  • Lectures to provide overview and inspiration,
  • Laboratory exercises where new tools and techniques are introduced and in which the participants work on a set of exercises (carried out in groups of two students). The results of the lab exercises are examined (demonstrated and questioned) directly in the lab.
  • Classroom exercises where more details are provided compared to the lectures, and where the participants can practice theoretical parts of the course.
  • A project, where the course participants work in groups (up to four persons) with the specification, design and implementation of an embedded control system. The project is documented through a report and a presentation, and is concluded by an horal examination.

Each week of the course focuses on a specific theme. The exercises are modularized according to these themes. The project runs throughout the course.

The exercises include the implementation of control systems on a bare processor, with a real-time operating system and in a distributed system. In parts of the exercises, the system designs will be modelled using Simulink/Stateflow and software diagramming techniques (based on selected UML diagrams).

The course includes two smaller written exams (kontrollskrivningar).

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the design and implementation of embedded control systems on microcontrollers, with and without real-time operating systems and in distributed computer systems. At the end of this course, the course participants should be able to:

  • Provide examples of existing ECS applications and architectures, and describe the special requirements placed in developing such systems.
  • Describe and explain the important steps in the design of ECS, the dependencies between control system functionality and the implementation, and the trade-offs that the designer has to deal with.
  • Describe and explain the basic concepts of concurrent and real-time programming, including execution strategies, concepts of scheduling theory and Real-time Operating Systems (RTOS).
  • Describe and explain the basic concepts of communication protocols and concerns in the design of distributed embedded control systems.
  • Apply your knowledge in control theory and software programming in the design and implementation of control algorithms in single processor as well as distributed computer systems, with and without an RTOS.
  • Utilize models to describe and analyze system designs (functions, software and hardware) with analysis through simulation and formal analysis.
  • Use state-of-the-art tools necessary when developing and analyzing an ECS.

Course Disposition

Period 2
Lectures 12h
Tutorials 18h
Laboration 30h

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Qualified for studies in grade 3 and MF1016/4F1816 , DD1321/2D1321, MF106X/MF107X/MF109X/MF1022/4F1822

Recommended prerequisites

The course builds upon knowledge and experiences as provided by the Intermediate thesis project in Mechatronics, MF106X or MF107X or MF109X or MF1022.
The course also requires knowledge and experience corresponding to basic courses in control theory (e.g. Automatic Control, Basic Course, (EL1000), programming (e.g. DD1322 Applied Programming and Computer Science, Part 1, 4 credits, and DD1324 Applied Programming and Computer Science, Part 2, 2 credits ) and electronics.
It is advantageous to have taken the following course: Dynamics and Motion Control, MF2007, (4F1907).

Compulsory for
MEI(I4), MTK(M4, P4, T4)


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Course book (for sale at the department) and other course material (lectures, tutorial specifications, RTOS manuals etc.) which are distributed during the course and made available on the course web.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 6,0 hp, betygsskala: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3,0 hp, betygsskala: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Examination in the course:

- Horal exam of laboratory exercises for each lab.

- Mini exams; the first after 50% of the course, the second at the end of the course.

- Project intermediate deliverables and end result (as for MSc thesis projects, the results, the presentation/documentation and process will be considered).

Other requirements for final grade

To pass the course, approved exams, laboratory exercises and project are required. 

Written exams (TEN1; 3 cr)
Lab work (LAB1; 6 cr)

The course grade is given by a weighted assessment of the achievements in the exams and the project.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Martin Törngren

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

ITM/Machine Design

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

A highly recommended follow-up course is the Mechatronics advanced course, 12 credits. There are also courses for in-depth specialization on for example different aspects of control (at the S3 Department), on specific computer system implementation techniques (at the Dept. of Electronics and Computer Systems) and on programming languages (at Nada).


Martin Törngren,, 08 790 6307

Supplementary information

Språk: Svenska / English (given in English if required, all course material is in English)

Replaces 4F1908