A Gimbal Stabilizer : Self-stabilizing platform for holding objects horizontally stable

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM); KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: This bachelor thesis is about the design and construction of a self-stabilizing platform. The purpose of this system is to balance objects placed upon the platform by keeping the platform level regardless of how the mechanism itself is rotated. Its uses include stabilization of sensors, cameras and vehicle cockpits. The prototype was constructed using 3D printing and basic machining. It uses two DC motors, an inertial measurement unit, an Arduino Uno microcontroller and a motor driver. The inertial measurement unit acts as an accelerometer and gyroscope, it measures the change in position and angle relative to its starting position. The controller algorithm processes the sensor signal and calculates an appropriate output signal. This output signal regulates the two DC motors in such a way that compensates for any angle changes in the platform. This project is based on, and is the continuation of the work by J. Larsson, titled ”Gimbal stabilizer for cockpit bases of terrain vehicle or combat boat: A proof of concept”. The task is to develop it to a functioning physical prototype and implement a control system which is fast, responsive and precise. The controller tuning process involved a trial and error approach, using binary search between parameters that give a performance that is too slow and a performance that is too fast and unstable. A satisfactory performance was achieved and the platform could effectively stabilize objects that weigh 400 grams at its center, 200 grams at its edges and 100 grams at its corners. This takes 100 milliseconds on average. Besides bearing loads, the platform could also compensate for sudden forced angle changes and any tilting of the mechanism the platform is attached to.

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