3D Robotics

Inverted pendulum quad now moves around, too

More coolness from the Vicon motion capture room at ETH Zurich:


From IEEE Spectrum:

The quadrotor is not doing everything by itself. It's getting help from the environment, an enclosed space called the Flying Machine Arena, which is equipped with multiple motion capture cameras. The researchers devised algorithms to transform the vision data from the cameras into control commands for the quadrotor. The machine can hover in place or it can follow pre-programmed trajectories. Manual control is also possible using a "set point tracking" device.

Hehn and D'Andrea, an IEEE Fellow and co-founder of Kiva Systems, which develops warehouse automation robots (disclosure: he's also a member of IEEE Spectrum's editorial advisory board), describe the project in a paper, "A Flying Inverted Pendulum," presented today at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), in Shanghai.

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  • Developer
    HK, you can look at it like this. If suddenly there was a break trough in IMU technology that gave us the same accuracy as the capture system. The needed control algorithms to take advantage of this new improved accuracy  would already have been developed in this project. If you only did research using readily available/cheap technology with instant real world applications (commercial development), after a while there would hardly be any progress at all.
  • HK, many times one doesn't see the real-world opportunities until one's had a go trying to make something work.

    You could probably do this outdoors if you had more precision location data than IMU/GPS currently gives, but you'd trip over yourself with the motion/position uncertainty trying to implement the actual control algorithm.  Maybe that is the next step, if an outdoor inverted pendulum will change the world... ;)

  • @Mayank. This is the wrong thread to ask for help wit your Quad.


    @Hamish & Mark, I understand that universities are given money and hardware and they have lots of free time on their hands...I suppose what they're doing is better than the navel gazing that's going on in the psychiatry department.... but still....let's say the setup was $20 instead of $500,000....what good is flying through a window if you have to go inside the room and hang up a white sheet and then light the room with 1,000 watts before it can be done. Once it's inside the window the quad is blind? Coolness factor, I get it....resume builder, I get it....too much free time, hardware and money, I get it.... real world application....crickets.....

  • Moderator
    @HappyKillmore, a couple of ways of looking at it: (1) the university does wacky things like this because nobody else is doing them, and they might make some interesting discovery. (2) Great fun for the guys working on this, and I imagine their resumes will go into the "A" stack when they graduate. (3) in two years that system will be $30k, and in 10 years it will be included standard on all video game controllers. (4) "hey we just got an offer of a primo motion capture setup, anybody got an idea of what we can do with this thing?" :-)
  • @ HappyKillmore: i just want to balance my quadrotor ,right now i don't want to do the above thing and agreed with u @ the point that i don't have that much monet right now in my pocket......

    See the videos of my quadrotor @ http://www.quadrotor.co.nr  and give me some ideas where i m wrong to stabilise my machine


  • well perhaps factories or something can afford to install a motion capture thing, but thats about it?
  • Welcome to the conversation Mayank! Do you have $300,000 - $500,000 to spend on a camera and will you always be flying in indoors in front of a white sheet? If not, this might not be for you.
  • What an amazing thing.....wonderful.......can u please help me in stabilising my quadrotor....

    I m from India and not getting any kind of guidance in this field.....please help me.....


  • Developer
    You never know what kind of knowledge will become important in the future. Often some obscure experiment with no practical application can lead to discoveries that has importance. Electricity was just a curiosity with no practical appliance for hundreds of years after it's discovery.
  • This technology completely baffles me. It's cool, there's no doubt about that. But what real-world application can you think of where you've got a quad with a $300,000 camera on a tripod on one side and a white sheet on the other. Is this another example of academia living in a bubble or am I missing the poiint?


    Let's say they have mastered the ability to fly through open windows....or deflect bullets....or see through walls.... they can only do it in a vacuum....so I wonder what's the point?

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