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RAPCON: Real-time Rapid Control Prototyping Platform for Matlab/Simulink

The The RAPCON platform offers a seamless interface between physical plants and Matlab/Simulink for implementation of hardware-in-the-loop real-time control systems. It is fully integrated into Matlab/Simulink and has a broad range of inputs and outputs. It allows quick test and iteration of control strategies in real-time with a real plant in the loop. The platform is a complete and low-cost real-time control system development package for both educational and industrial applications.

The RAPCON platform consists of the real-time control board (hardware) and the associated Matlab interface (software). The hardware of the RAPCON platform has versatile inputs and outputs. The board also contains two H-bridges with 5 A capability to drive external heavy loads. Some inputs and outputs are multiplexed to simplify the hardware. The board is interfaced to the host computer that runs Matlab through a serial port. The software of the RAPCON platform is fully integrated into Matlab/Simulink and comes with Simulink library blocks associated with each hardware input and output. The platform achieves real-time operation with sampling rates up to 15.2 kHz.

The RAPCON platform can be used to control various plants such as servo motors, stepper motors, brushless DC motors, magnetic levitation systems, inverted or rotary pendulums, robotic platforms; read analog, digital and PWM output sensors, such as temperature sensors, Hall effect sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, ultrasonic distance sensors. It can also be used generate variable pulse width and frequency outputs, measure pulse width and frequency of signals, read from files and write to files. The RAPCON platform allows the user to implement any desired control strategy using the graphical environment of Matlab/Simulink, tune the controller parameters while the system is running, and observe the response of the system in real-time. Please see the quick reference manual for more information.

The RAPCON platform has been developed to extend and optimize the real-time operation of Matlab and Simulink. The developed system is uniquely integrated into Matlab and Simulink to achieve real-time operation in Matlab under Windows. The salient features of the RAPCON platform make it ideal for implementation of hardware-in-the-loop real-time control systems in both educational and industrial applications.


  • Real-time signal analysis, synthesis, processing and visualization
  • Parameter tuning and optimization
  • Modeling, analysis and design of control systems
  • Real-time control
  • Hardware-in-the-loop simulation
  • Real-time rapid control prototyping
  • Teaching concepts and carrying out experiments in signals and systems labs
  • Real-time data acquisition
  • Mechatronics


  • Compatible with Matlab R2007b through Matlab R2023b
  • Power supply: 6 − 15 V, minimum 0.15 A, regulated
  • Interface: 460800 baud, 8 bit data, no parity, 1 stop bit
  • Analog inputs: A0 – A7, 0 − 5 V analog, 12 bit resolution
  • Analog outputs: B0 – B1, 0 − 5 V analog, 12 bit resolution
  • Digital inputs: D0_d0 – D0_d7, 0 − 5 V digital, 8 lines
  • Digital outputs: G0_g0 – G0_g7, 0 − 5 V digital, 8 lines
  • Capture inputs: C0 – C1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Frequency outputs: F0 – F1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Encoder inputs: E0 – E1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Stepper output: S0, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Pulse inputs: K0 – K1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Pulse outputs: H0 – H1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Sensor inputs: I0 – I1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • Servo outputs: J0 – J1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • General pulse inputs: M0 – M1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • General pulse outputs: N0 – N1, 0 − 5 V digital, 16 bit resolution
  • File inputs: U0 – U7, digital, int16 or float64 data format
  • File outputs: V0 – V7, digital, int16 or float64 data format
  • Filtered pulse outputs: L0 – L1, 0 − 5 V analog
  • H-bridge outputs: P0 – P1, 0 − (supply voltage) V digital, 5 A
  • Voltage regulator output: VDD, 5 V, 0.25 A, regulated
  • Sampling rate: up to 15.2 kHz
  • See the extensions for more features
  • Size: 10.16 cm x 7.62 cm (4.0'' x 3.0'')
  • Weight: 43.9 g (1.55 oz)


  • PC with Windows XP or later and an available expansion slot for a serial card
  • Serial crossover (null modem) cable
  • Matlab R2007b or later with Simulink, Real-Time Workshop (renamed as Matlab Coder and Simulink Coder in Matlab R2011a and later) and Real-Time Windows Target (renamed as Simulink Desktop Real-Time in Matlab R2015a and later)
  • RAPCON hardware (real-time control board) 1.5 or later
  • RAPCON software 1.5 or later
  • Power supply (regulated, 6 – 15 V, at least 0.15 A excluding the current requirements of the external loads)

RAPCON Board with Simulink Library

Serial Card

  • PCI, PCIe, CardBus or ExpressCard serial card (please let us know which one you would like to get)
  • 16C950 compatible UART


Power Supply

  • Input: 100 – 240 V, 50 / 60 Hz, AC
  • Output: 12 V, 5 A, DC
  • USA power cord (universal use with a suitable power cord / plug adapter, European power cord is also available upon request)


Crossover Cable

  • 6' (1.83 m) crossover cable
  • DB9F to DB9F



Package Content

  • RAPCON hardware
  • RAPCON software
  • Serial card
  • Power supply
  • Crossover cable

Payment and Shipping

  • Credit Cards, PayPal, Wire Transfer or Money Order
  • Shipment is via USPS worldwide
  • Orders typically ship within the same day
  • For 10 or more orders, please contact us for a discount

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the differences between HILINK and RAPCON?

A: The RAPCON platform is four times faster than the HILINK platform. In addition, the RAPCON platform includes RAPCON hardware and software, serial card, power supply and crossover cable while these items are sold separately for the HILINK platform.

Q: Are the plants listed on your HILINK page also compatible with the RAPCON platform?

A: Yes, they are compatible with the RAPCON platform.

Q: Is there any difference between the educational and regular versions of the RAPCON platform?

A: The educational and regular versions of the RAPCON platforms are exactly the same. We sell the RAPCON platform at a lower price to educational institutions to support education and make them more affordable for students and educators. If you are affiliated with any educational institution, then you are entitled to get the RAPCON platform from the educational price, which is 10% lower than the regular price.