ECE 486: Control Systems
Fall 2017

ECE 486 Final Project:
The Reaction Wheel Pendulum
General Overview


Reaction Wheel Pendulum The final project is a somewhat structured project that guides you through mathematical modeling, friction analysis, and controller design of the Reaction Wheel Pendulum (RWP) using the tools you have gained in ECE 486. The RWP is a variant of the inverted pendulum control problem that uses the reacting torque from a turning wheel to stabilize in an unstable equilibrium position.

Structure is provided by the packet available on the course website. However, the four lab sessions which you will be given to work on the final project will not be structured (although a guideline is provided below). We encourage you to work at your own pace, to come in outside of lab hours, and to spend extra time working with the RWP.


Report guidelines

Week 1

Dan Block will be giving a demonstration of the RWP in lecture this week. Copies of the final project handout will be made available in lecture at that time. Both A and B teams will meet in the lab simultaneously. You should have read through Sections I and II and Appendix A.

Also we strongly encourage you to complete (or at least try to complete) Section I before coming to lab. It consists of the mathematical derivation of the dynamics. It is straightforward, but may take some time, and it provides an excellent introduction to the RWP. In the lab you will be setting up the Lagrange dynamical equations for the RWP and calculating the friction torque profile for the reaction wheel itself.


Grading Overview

250 pts distributed among:


To ensure that you are making progress, we will ask you to demonstrate your final project at various milestones. You should demo during either TA office hours or lab meeting times. The only time constraint for the demos is that you must demo Part II by the end of the second week of final project (you will have 3 weeks, because Lab 6 comes between the first and second weeks of final project).


Report guidelines