Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


William R. Murray

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The focus of this document is on the design, modeling, and control of a self-balancing two wheel robot, hereafter referred to as the balance bot, driven by independent brushless DC (BLDC) motors. The balance bot frame is composed of stacked layers allowing a lightweight, modular, and rigid mechanical design. The robot is actuated by a pair of brushless DC motors equipped with Hall effect sensors and encoders allowing determination of the angle and angular velocity of each wheel. Absolute orientation measurement is accomplished using a full 9-axis IMU consisting of a 3-axis gyroscope, a 3-axis accelerometer, and a 3-axis magnetometer.

The control algorithm is designed to minimize deviations from a set point specified by an external radio remote control, which allows the remote operator to steer and drive the bot wirelessly while it remains balanced. Multiple dynamic models are proposed in this analysis, and the selected model is used to develop a linear-quadratic regulator based state-feedback controller to perform reference tracking. Controller tracking performance is improved by incorporating a prefilter stage between the setpoint command from the remote control and the state-feedback controller.

Modeling of the actuator dynamics is considered brie y and is discussed in relation to the control algorithm used to balance the robot. Electrical and software design implementations are also presented with a focus on effective implementation of the proposed control algorithms.

Simulated and physical testing results show that the proposed balance bot and controller design are not only feasible but effective as a means of achieving robust performance under dynamic tracking profiles provided by the remote control.