Design and Control of a Ballbot Drivetrain with High Agility, Minimal Footprint, and High Payload

Chenzhang Xiao, Mahshid Mansouri, David Lam, Joao Ramos, Elizabeth T. Hsiao-Wecksler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper presents the design and control of a ballbot drivetrain that aims to achieve high agility, minimal footprint, and high payload capacity while maintaining dynamic stability. Two hardware platforms and analytical models were developed to test design and control methodologies. The full-scale ballbot prototype (MiaPURE) was constructed using off-the-shelf components and designed to have agility, footprint, and balance similar to that of a walking human. The planar inverted pendulum testbed (PIPTB) was developed as a reduced-order testbed for quick validation of system performance. We then proposed a simple yet robust cascaded LQR-PI controller to balance and maneuver the ballbot drivetrain with a heavy payload. This is crucial because the drivetrain is often subject to high stiction due to elastomeric components in the torque transmission system. This controller was first tested in the PIPTB to compare with traditional LQR and cascaded PI-PD controllers, and then implemented in the ballbot drivetrain. The MiaPURE drivetrain was able to carry a payload of 60 kg, achieve a maximum speed of 2.3 m/s, and come to a stop from a speed of 1.4 m/s in 2 seconds in a selected translation direction. Finally, we demonstrated the omnidirectional movement of the ballbot drivetrain in an indoor environment as a payload-carrying robot and a human-riding mobility device. Our experiments demonstrated the feasibility of using the ballbot drivetrain as a universal mobility platform with agile movements, minimal footprint, and high payload capacity using our proposed design and control methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2023
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages376-383
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665491907
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2023 - Detroit, United States
Duration: Oct 1 2023Oct 5 2023

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Conference

Conference2023 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDetroit
Period10/1/2310/5/23

Keywords

  • Body Balancing
  • Underactuated Robots
  • Wheeled Robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

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