Can Arduino assist with tightrope strolling?
June seventeenth, 2022—
Strolling a tightrope does take ability and pure stability, however it’s actually a matter of inertia. That is why you see acrobats carrying lengthy poles on the excessive wire — the burden and size of the pole creates inertia that gravity should overcome so as to topple the performer. However these poles are unwieldy. To seek out out if he may obtain the identical factor in a extra compact package deal, James Bruton constructed this unusual Arduino-controlled balancing backpack.
Bruton has one thing of a fascination with self-balancing robots. His expertise in that enviornment carried over right here, as a result of the backpack works so much like a self-balancing robotic. A weighted response wheel spins both clockwise or counter-clockwise, which can create rotational inertia to compensate for roll (left or proper tilt). However as a substitute of maintaining a robotic upright, this inertial mechanism sits on a backpack that Bruton can put on to remain upright as he makes an attempt to stroll alongside a beam.
An Arduino-compatible Teensy LC measures the angle of the backpack utilizing an MPU-6050 inertial measurement unit (IMU). The board additionally controls a big brushless DC motor, which spins the response wheel by way of a belt drive that gears down the mechanism. Energy comes from an enormous passion LiPo battery pack. Bruton added a hand throttle as nicely, which lets him regulate the pace of the response wheel. With out that, the system would combat his personal pure motion. With it, he can improve the throttle as essential when he begins falling to at least one aspect or the opposite.
After some preliminary hiccups brought on by the response wheel missing the mass to assist, Bruton was capable of navigate the stability beam efficiently.