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Jun 15, 2014, 12:21 AM
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Balancing busted 2

The decision was made to go for full functionality without ESC mode, using a table of power vs speed, if at all. It doesn't look like a balancer is going to hit the required speed, even with a modern 1khz IMU & direct drive motors. With 900Mah batteries in stepper mode, the range would be 4 miles.

Getting over curbs would be an ordeal. The problem is a stopping force on the wheels causes it to flip forward. It needs a sudden boost in power to get the wheels in front of its center of gravity again. Most balancers use gear motors with a low maximum speed, to get good stationary power, but the steppers would still be near their maximum speed at 7.5mph.

The segway can go 12mph, for $2000. Nbot was still the most fully documented, seemed the fastest, but was far too slow. It demonstrated the front flipping problem nicely. There was a video of a really slow one in a balancing robot race.

Jesus Dominguez in RoboGames (1 min 6 sec)

Recently, a passively stable 2 wheeler called Outrunner appeared. It was 1 of many unsuccessful projects in the kickstarter underworld.

OutRunner OffRoad (1 min 21 sec)

It's quite large & uses spring loaded sticks instead of wheels to achieve improved efficiency. It probably uses expensive, beefy gear motors. It's surprising how hard it is to bring many simple ideas to practical use.
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