Jan 24, 2009

Twice the NXTway... BallBot

A long time ago at NI Week I remember seeing a (at the time non-moving) version of BallBot. The idea is simple - instead of driving wheels forward or back like a Segway does to stay balanced, use motors to spin a ball that the entire robot balances on - in both horizontal directions. The only solutions I've seen to this in the past have been significant sized robots, with rather complicated control systems, and I wasn't at all sure it was within the reach of the NXT, with the comparably low-speed sensor polling and the way the motors are controlled indirectly (not from the main chip, but from a secondary processor.

I'm happy to say I was dead wrong.



Here is a rather modest little LEGO robot doing an amazingly un-modest thing: balancing itself upright on a LEGO ball, even when bumped or having things stacked on top of it. The builder/programmers webpage is here, with some other amazing works on it (several have been covered here previously). The only input the robot (and here I'd certainly use the term) is using to remain upright is two HiTechnic gyro sensors, (one for each axis), with the programming in nxtOSEK and MathWorks MATLAB. Truly an amazing creation!

--
Brian Davis

6 comments:

Laurens Valk said...

Now that is truly amazing... I found a regular balancing robot difficult to understand already - I just used sample progras without really understanding how they worked.

A ball-balancer is simply genious.

Sidneys1 said...

We have yet to see this in NXT-G form... I remember at one time a legway was considered "impossible" in NXT-G... So who's up to the task? I would try, but I don't have a gyro, let along 2...

222Doc said...

OUSTANDING, just amazing

Dave Parker said...

Holy cow! My son actually asked me to build one of these a while back, and I told him no way (with standard NXT parts). With any parts, that is truely amazing. He will get a kick out of this.

Kirk Backstrom said...

I am amazed.

tarribas said...

The Original NXT Ballbot is a Spanish project published in 2008.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Eau8y-yhPc

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