Self Balancing Mechanical Gyroscope Experimentation

I am going to start posting some results of my experiments with self balancing gyroscopes (mechanical) here.

Currently I have a working self stabilized two wheeler that uses a free precessing mechanical gyroscope which is very smooth with very little oscillating back and forth like you see on some self stabilized vehicles. The gyroscope is kept actively balanced by a servo that swings a counterweight back and forth. The downside is that a large force on the vehicle or sharp turn to left or right will cause the gyroscope to tumble (fall over). So I have been experimenting some with actively controlling the gyroscope gimble which is much more forceful in correcting the attitude of the gyroscope but also difficult to control. I have seen other efforts and the computer controls the gimbal but the vehicle always exhibits a bit of jumping back and forth – not too smooth.

I am thinking about working on  some sort of hybrid gimbal control  that allows free precessing but with gimbal correction.

Experiment 1: From studying some patents on the subject I saw one idea where they have tilted the entire gyroscope forward or backward rather than use a gimbal. That might be less abrupt in correcting the gyro than directly controlling the gimbal so I will try that.

Experiment 2:  Also, I noticed that a gyroscope can be somewhat self correcting when it “loses it’s balance” by allowing the motor/gyro rotor to slide back and forth on the gimbal axis and  allowing the natural precessing of the gyro to correct it’s out of balance state. I accidently observed this happening with my first self balancing gyroscope.

So these are two experiments I want to conduct in the near future.


About jimd

Christian, ESL teacher, retired computer programmer, former US Army soldier, former Peace Corps Volunteer. Like to paint, build and fly rc airplanes, play guitar, ride unicycle, juggle, and hang out with my university students. Am currently residing in a foreign country but I do love America.
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