A laboratory experiment based on the ‘Segway’

Motswagae, Tshepo (2011) A laboratory experiment based on the ‘Segway’. [USQ Project]


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The use of robots nowadays has become an integral part of our lives. We use them for a variety of purposes ranging from life saving to entertaining. Due to their growing popularity, a vast number of research programs have been set up all around the world.

One such case of robotics research that sparked a high level of interest worldwide is the research on unstable systems such as the inverted pendulum. Since the birth of this ground-breaking research, many studies have followed thereafter, seeking to integrate or incorporate the idea with other systems. Some of the fields that are endorsed by the inverted pendulum research include aero dynamics (landing systems), freight systems and self-balancing robots.

This particular research focuses on the topic of self-balancing robots. It endeavours to explore and present the design concepts of a two-wheeled self-balancing mobile robot. The main aim of the research is to construct a working experiment that will be used to assist mechatronics students to learn principles of control theories at the University of Southern Queensland. It will also explore ways in which the experiment teachings might best be delivered.

When designing a two-wheeled self-balancing robot it is essential to possess or gain an understanding of the theories and dynamics of the inverted pendulum as they form the design basis of the robot. As part of the task, a close study was carried out on the design of the inverted pendulum. The study helped in deducing the mathematical model of the robot which subsequently led to the pronouncement of the robot’s state equations and thus allowing for the simulation to be carried out. It was after the simulation process that the robot was constructed.

The actual program to control the robot was developed in an Arduino pde platform using C++ language and was controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. The experiment was set up in such a way that the microcontroller would send monitor signals to the computer to graph the progress of the robot in real time. This was one way of delivering the teaching aspects of the experiment. This also allowed the performance of the system to be further analysed by comparing the real system behaviour with its simulation behaviour. The project is concluded with a revision of each aspect covered with recommendations for improvement and future areas of investigation.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Billingsley, John
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2012 02:00
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: robot, arduino microcontroller
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091303 Autonomous Vehicles
09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090602 Control Systems, Robotics and Automation
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400703 Autonomous vehicle systems
40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400799 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics not elsewhere classified
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/22586

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