EDWARD Electric Diwheel & Inverted Pendulum Mechatronics

The EDWARD Electric Diwheel is a project built by mechanical engineering students at the University of Adelaide. It’s a great demonstration of what you can do with mechatronics (electric motor control). They first got the rig up and running so that it would give you basic movement in response to throttle inputs. However, there was some instability issues under power due to the balance of the vehicle. They fixed it by modelling the motion of the Diwheel and programming a motor controller that would automatically maintain stability based on feedback from position tracking sensors.

The inversion control is a model of what’s commonly known as the inverted pendulum. It sounds more complicated than it is. If you’ve ever tried to balance the end of a stick on your hand, then you are familiar with how it works. If the stick starts to fall to the right, you have to move your hand to the right to keep the stick vertical on your hand. Mechatronics allows an electric motor to act like your hand to balance a weight based on lean angle feedback. That’s what make things like these one wheel motorcycles possible:

Mechatronics is a currently a hot area of study as many automakers are developing hybrids and electric cars. It takes a specific set of skills that blends mechanical and electrical engineering. You basically have to translate mechanical motion into a language understood by the computer controlling the electric motor. Here’s another basic demonstration of inverted pendulum stabilization. This one is interesting because he starts using a jointed pendulum.

Source: YouTube users bscazz and 1337041071 and Vimeo user Tensor

One thought on “EDWARD Electric Diwheel & Inverted Pendulum Mechatronics

  1. Pingback: The Astounding Athleticism of Quadcopters | FluxAuto

Comments are closed.