Control System Design for Nonlinear Inverted Pendulum System

An inverted pendulum is a pendulum which has its center of mass above its pivot point. It is often implemented with the pivot point mounted on a cart that can move horizontally and may be called a cart and pole. Most applications limit the pendulum to 1 degree of freedom by affixing the pole to an axis of rotation. Whereas a normal pendulum is stable when hanging downwards, an inverted pendulum is inherently unstable, and must be actively balanced in order to remain upright; this can be done either by applying a torque at the pivot point, by moving the pivot point horizontally as part of a feedback system, changing the rate of rotation of a mass mounted on the pendulum on an axis parallel to the pivot axis and thereby generating a net torque on the pendulum, or by oscillating the pivot point vertically. A simple demonstration of moving the pivot point in a feedback system is achieved by balancing an upturned broomstick on the end of one's finger. The inverted pendulum is a classic problem in dynamics and control theory and is used as a benchmark for testing control strategies.

A second type of inverted pendulum is a tiltmeter for tall structures which consists of a wire anchored to the bottom of the foundation and attached to a float in a pool of oil at the top of the structure which has devices for measuring movement of the neutral position of the float away from its original position.

The inverted pendulum is a classic problem in dynamics and control theory and is widely used as a benchmark for testing control algorithms (PID controllers, neural networks, fuzzy control, genetic algorithms, etc.). Variations on this problem include multiple links, allowing the motion of the cart to be commanded while maintaining the pendulum, and balancing the cart-pendulum system on a see-saw. The inverted pendulum is related to rocket or missile guidance, where the center of gravity is located behind the center of drag causing aerodynamic instability. The understanding of a similar problem can be shown by simple robotics in the form of a balancing cart. Balancing an upturned broomstick on the end of one's finger is a simple demonstration, and the problem is solved in the technology of the Segway PT, a self-balancing transportation device.

Another way that an inverted pendulum may be stabilized, without any feedback or control mechanism, is by oscillating the support rapidly up and down. This is called Kapitza's pendulum. If the oscillation is sufficiently strong (in terms of its acceleration and amplitude) then the inverted pendulum can recover from perturbations in a strikingly counterintuitive manner. If the driving point moves in simple harmonic motion, the pendulum's motion is described by the Mathieu equation.

Course Project
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology