Realizing Motus Perpetuus has struggled scientists for centuries who strived to build ideal no-energy loss mechanisms. I’d like to mention Foucault’s pendulum that was used to prove the earth rotation. You may then be tempted to believe that doing the opposite, i.e., reach equilibrium and stabilize a pendulum, is a piece of cake. Well, things are not so simple.
Together with Babak Salamat, we have developed a swash mass pendulum that finds application as a stabilizer of mechanical structures and in particular of aerial vehicles (drones).
Shaping the energy through the movement of masses of such a highly non-linear mechanism turns out to be a fascinating approach that enables the control of its oscillations to reach a desired equilibrium state (orientation). Theoretical studies and practical experimentation have been documented in a recent publication and short video.
B. Salamat, A. M. Tonello, “A Swash Mass Pendulum with Passivity-Based Control,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Jan. 2021.
B. Salamat, A. M. Tonello, “Energy Based Control of a Swash Mass Helicopter Through Decoupling Change of Coordinates,”IEEE Access, 2020