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The ballbot - Control and Physical Interaction

The ballbot is a human-sized robot that balances on a ball. It is an underactuated, omnidirectional balancing mobile robot, which can also rotate about its vertical axis (yaw motion). It uses a triad of legs to remain statically stable when powered off. The ball is actuated using a four-motor inverse mouse-ball drive. This work dealt with the design of various controllers for dynamic balancing, stationkeeping, velocity control, yaw motion while balancing, and automatic transition between statically stable and dynamically stable states. This work also involved development of an offline trajectory planning algorithm that plans motion for the ballbot between static configurations, i.e., rest-rest motions. This work also explored some interesting human-robot physical interactions that can be achieved as a result of dynamic stability.

More work on ballbot can be found in the Shape Space Planning and Graceful Navigation project pages.

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Related Publications

The Ballbot: An Omnidirectional Balancing Mobile Robot
Umashankar Nagarajan, George Kantor and Ralph Hollis
International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), Volume 33, Issue 6, pp. 917 – 930, May 2014
IJRR | PDF

Trajectory Planning and Control of a Dynamically Stable Single Spherical Wheeled Mobile Robot
Umashankar Nagarajan, George Kantor and Ralph Hollis
IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA), pp. 3743 - 3748, May 2009
IEEEXplore | PDF

State Transition, Balancing, Station Keeping and Yaw Control for a Dynamically Stable Single Spherical Wheel Mobile Robot
Umashankar Nagarajan, Anish Mampetta, George Kantor and Ralph Hollis
IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA), pp. 998 - 1003, May 2009
IEEEXplore | PDF

Human-Robot Physical Interaction with Dynamically Stable Mobile Robots
Umashankar Nagarajan, George Kantor and Ralph Hollis
ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), pp. 281 - 282, March 2009
IEEEXplore | PDF

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