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Torque-limited simple pendulum: A toolkit for getting familiar with control algorithms in underactuated robotics

Felix Wiebe; Jonathan Babel; Shivesh Kumar; Shubham Vyas; Daniel Harnack; Melya Boukheddimi; Mihaela Popescu; Frank Kirchner
In: Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS), Vol. 7, No. 74, Pages 1-7, The Open Journal, 6/2022.


There are many, wildly different approaches to robotic control. Underactuated robots are systems for which it is not possible to dictate arbitrary accelerations to all joints. Hence, a controller cannot be used to override the system dynamics and force the system on a desired trajectory as it often is done in classical control techniques. A torque-limited pendulum is arguably the simplest underactuated robotic system and thus is a suitable system to study, test, and benchmark different controllers. This repository describes the hardware (Computer-aided design (CAD) models, Bill Of Materials (BOM), etc.) required to build a physical pendulum system and provides the software (Unified Robot Description Format (URDF) models, simulation, and controller) to control it. It provides a setup for studying established and novel control methods, and targets students and researchers interested in studying underactuation.


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