Control and balancing of a small vehicle with two wheels for autonomous driving
Abstract: Control and balancing of an inverted pendulum has gained a lot of attention over the past few decades due to its unstable properties. This has become a great challenge for control engineers to verify and test the control theory. To control and balance an inverted pendulum, proportional integrated derivative (PID) method or linear quadratic regulator (LQR) method can be used through which a lot of simulations can be done using the represented theories.Since urban population is increasing at a very alarming rate, there is a need to discover new ways of transportation to meet the future challenges and demands. Scania has come up with a new conceptual bus called NXT which aims to develop a modular vehicle that should configure and re-configure themselves between different transportation tasks. NXT vehicle has front and rear drive modules which can be represented as single axle, two-wheeled vehicles which in-turn can be viewed as an inverted pendulum with a huge Center of Gravity. Controlling and balancing of the pod or drive module precisely and accurately is an interesting challenge since it is an unstable inverted pendulum with huge center of gravity (COG). This behaviour of the system has created a research question whether the module is controllable or not.Therefore this thesis focuses on the possibility of controlling the pod which is a two-wheeled inverted pendulum vehicle with a COG offset. Also, the thesis focuses on the construction, mod-elling, testing and validation of a down-scaled model, what sensors are needed to balance the pod precisely, how the sensors must be integrated with the system and how the pod can be controlled remotely from a certain distance by a human. The developed pod houses the technologies like sensors, BLDC motor controllers, hoverboard, Arduino board and Bluetooth transmitters.The Master Thesis starts by presenting an introduction to the inverted pendulum theories, Scania NXT project, information about the research methods, thesis outline and structure . It continues by describing related literature about the inverted pendulums, segways, hoverboards, motor controllers and Arduino boards. Afterwards, the process of deriving a mathematical model, together with simulation in Matlab, Simulink and Simscape is described. Later, construction of the pod is made and lot of effort is put to run the pod. Since the pod needs to be controlled remotely by a human, a remote controlled systemis implemented via mobile phone using an app and finally the thesis is finished with a conclusion and ideas for future work.
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