Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

PID Ping Pong Ball Levitation

Figure from experiment 12 from Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier


Levitation is a process in which an object is suspended against gravity by a physical force. Many methods can be used as the levitating medium, including magnetic repulsion, viscous liquids, sound waves, and air currents. In this Project, we will use an air stream provided by a fan to provide the levitating force on a ping-pong ball. Controlling the ping-pong ball is not easy, so it requires a good control system, which you can build using LabVIEW.


In this Project, you will build a device to levitate a ping-pong ball in a long vertical tube using the force of air. You will use a small DC fan powered by a Vernier Power Amplifier to provide the lift force for the ping-pong ball. The fan should be secured to the bottom of the tube in such a way that there is an air-tight seal between the sides of the fan and the tube, but that the top and bottom of the fan are open to provide air intake and exhaust. Your LabVIEW program should allow the user to control the speed of the fan (the lift force on the ball) from the front panel via a voltage control to the fan motor. When program execution ends, the fan should automatically turn off.

Sensors and Equipment

This project features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You will also need

Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Build a Temperature Sensor
2Digital Control Systems
3LED Color Mixer
4Hot Wire Anemometer
5DC Motor Control
6Light Intensity & Stepper Motors
7Servo Motors
8Analyzing the Heart with EKG
9Blood Pressure
10Strain Gage Measurements
11Propeller-Powered Pendulum
12PID Ping Pong Ball Levitation

Project 12 from Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier Lab Book

<i>Engineering Projects with NI LabVIEW and Vernier</i> book cover

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