SELF balancing ROBOT needs A bit work

A self-balancing robot isn’t a new idea, but we liked the aesthetics of [Maker ATOM’s] build. The use of a breadboard and a printed bracket looks good, as you can see in the video, below.

Like a lot of first-time projects, though, there were some lessons learned. The power supply needs a bit work and the range of balance compliance didn’t meet expectations. but those issues are soluble and, as usual, you often learn much more from working through problems like these.

The heart of the system is an MPU6050 which supplies a gyroscope and accelerometer together with combination capability onboard. The availability of libraries for the sensor and the PID controller makes the project pretty easy to finish.

In particular, a PID manage loop looks at the preferred specify of the system and the current state. It then computes an output based on the difference in specify at the current time and over time in different ways. In other words, part of the output develops because of the raw difference but other parts of the output form because of accumulated error over time or from sudden perturbations. Adjusting the gains so that these parts stay in balance can be a bit tricky.

However, in the end, the two batteries were not sufficient to power the device adequately. Temporarily, a bench supply did the trick, but the batteries still needed to be there to offer some counterweights for balance. Experimenting wth some PID loop gains might also improve operations.

There are lots of similar jobs to draw motivation from. The design doesn’t have to be difficult.

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