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Board # 144 : MAKER: A 3D Printed Balancing Robot for Teaching Dynamic Systems and Control

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Make It!

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Paper Authors


Ryan W. Krauss Grand Valley State University

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Dr. Krauss received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 2006. His research interests include modeling and control design for flexible robots, feedback control, and microcontroller-based implementation of feedback control systems. In addition to the freshmen introduction to engineering design course, he has taught courses in mechatronics, controls, vibrations, dynamics and robotics as well as senior design.

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Chad Thomas VanderRoest Grand Valley State University

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This paper presents a student project that resulted in a low-cost robot that can be used to teach dynamic systems and control. The body of the robot was 3D printed. The low-level control was performed by an Arduino. The high-level control was handled by a Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi and Arduino communicate over USB serial. The Raspberry Pi additionally provides a wifi connection for the robot. The robot is a two-wheeled balancing robot that is essentially an inverted pendulum. The robot carries a glass of water while performing various maneuvers such as line following. Students learn the importance of feedback to stabilize the unstable inverted-pendulum system. A real-time feedback control algorithm is implemented on the Arduino. Students also learn various aspects of Linux and Raspberry Pi in order to do the high-level control.

The final cost for the robot is less than $250 and it makes a useful experimental system for dynamic systems and control courses.

Krauss, R. W., & VanderRoest, C. T. (2017, June), Board # 144 : MAKER: A 3D Printed Balancing Robot for Teaching Dynamic Systems and Control Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27760

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