I remember a student in my major designed this balancing, um, thing, for
his senior project. There was a motor which ran forwards and backwards
along a track. On the top of that motor, attached with a hinge was a
stick. You would start the motor out in the middle of the track, turn it
on, hold the stick upright, and let go. The motor would move about forward
and back, in an effort to balance the stick.
Basically, the hinge connection was a potentiameter, which essentially
told the processor what the angle of the stick was. The angle would
determine which direction, and how quickly in that direction, the motor
should move to maintain a balance.
Quite frequently, this machine would reach the point of perfect balance,
and the motor would stop moving, and the stick would remain upright.
Needing further entertainment from the device, we would generally tap the
stick, to set it out of balance again.
I would presume the segway has a very similar design. When a person has
stopped, I would expect it may move forward and backwards very slightly if
necessary, but more often, would find the proper balance point.
As for how it remains balanced upright when no one is riding it, I am not
certain. Either it’s just weight-balanced to remain upright, or, in all
the demonstrations, we’ve never seen anyone turn the thing off.
I have yet to do any reading about the segway. All I know about it is from
the very small news clips I’ve seen.
> Chris Reeder wrote:
>> I would imagine it has electronic gyros only to control it, but not to
>> physically hold it up.
> I’m listening. What’s keeping it balanced then?
> - Gilby
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