An inverted pendulum system has a cart that can be moved back and forth on a track.  A long rod (pendulum) is attached to the cart so that it swings freely.  The first step is the swing up algorithm, which tries to swing the pendulum back and forth and add enough energy so that the pendulum swings completely upside down.  The second step is the balancing algorithm, which controls the position of the cart and tries to keep the pendulum inverted.

I have been interested in the design and control of an inverted pendulum system for quite a while. I recently decided to build one and learn how to control it. I thought it would be a good learning experience, since I donít usually do a lot of stuff on the design and building side of controls.  I also wanted to document my experiences modeling the system using the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation module and how well the model represented the system.

The pendulum system has been designed and built. I want to thank the guys at Shaltz Automation (Dana, Bill, Joe) for their help on this project. Without the many hours they helped me cutting, drilling, fixing, brainstorming, and other tasks, this would never have been built.

After building the system, I created a model of the system and some control algorithms for the pendulum. You can see the process I went through on my blog Building an Inverted Pendulum System: The Ups and Downs of defying gravity.