Electronic Circuits - Electronic Tutorials - Electronic Hobby Projects - A Complete Electronic Resource Centre

Electronics Hobby Engineering Projects and Tutorials

Videos

Circuits

Tutorials
Microcontroller

Microprocessor

Sitemap

Ball on Plate Control

Project Submitted by: Stephen Zahra

Email: electronicscontrol@gmail.com
 

Ball on Plate control Photo Ball on Plate control Photo 2Ball on Plate control Block Diagram  Ball on Plate control Diagram

A Ball on Plate system is the two dimension extension to the Ball on Beam system. The problem of the Ball on Beam becomes interesting because when the ball begins moving it will roll off the end of the beam if no control action is taken. The construction of the Ball on Beam involves a beam that can be tilted either from the centre of the axis or from the edge axis by an actuator. The ball is restricted to one dimensional movement, which is along the beam only. The sensor used in this system measures the ball position and is usually a resistance wire running along the beam. The ball is made of conductive material, for instance a steel ball bearing. As the ball rolls sideways, this will vary the total resistance of the system, so the overall resistance will give the precise indication where the ball is. The Ball on Plate system is figured out as the 2-D evolution of the Ball on Beam system. It has an x and y-dimension which allows the ball to roll along different paths. This type of system can be controlled for both position of the ball and path following, thereby opening up another field in robotics, that is trajectory planning. It will have several direct applications too such as robotic manipulation of round objects. When it comes to indirect applications, undergraduate students will benefit from this because of demonstration in control and image processing and can be used as lab apparatus. Various experiments can be carried out by using this system. These reference experiments are:

• Application and research of image processing algorithms
• Research of PID controller and other classical control methods
• System dynamics modelling and analysis
• Research of self-defined control algorithms

Apart from these experiments, different control examples can be carried out, and these are:

• Position the ball to a specific location on the plate
• Movement of the ball to a particular position via a specific trajectory
• Travelling of the ball to a certain point under local limitation of rotation in a certain direction

Robotics and Control is an area which interests me a lot. This was the starting point for choosing a project like this. Another reason for such choice was that it would be a test bed for further studies in my career, and continue to develop work on robotics and control systems. The second target was that the project can be used as an apparatus to teach undergraduate engineering students, especially in Signals & Systems, Robotics and Control.


Robotics and Control is an area which interests me a lot. This was the starting point for choosing a project like this. Another reason for such choice was that it would be a test bed for further studies in my career, and continue to develop work on robotics and control systems. The second target was that the project can be used as an apparatus to teach undergraduate engineering students, especially in Signals & Systems, Robotics and Control.

Ball on Plate control - Photographs

Ball on Plate control - Video

Results and Outcome

In this thesis we presented a ball on plate control scheme based on three controllers with the use of a vision system. The presented methods has been implemented on the hardware implementation built and simulated using Simulink. The final results obtained by this project were satisfactory. This is because when the final testing on the project was ready (all the mechanical and electronics combined together), the ball on plate system performed very well. The reason that the result was good, was because a good division of work was done at the beginning. Good modelling was done too and this resulted into realistic simulations for the controller design. After making the hardware of the system, it was very easy to implement since the simulations gave very realistic results.

The PID controller described in this thesis worked as designed. The main factor that changed a little bit the controller PID values was the modelling section. Since the friction element was not included in the model, it affected the actual system (since the ball had some friction with the plate and static energy) with regards the integrator PID value.

In a general concern the objectives for this thesis were accomplished, especially for the static position balancing (with disturbance). With the help of the software program with Matlab™ GUI the ball can be placed in any static location on the plate with corrections for every disturbance. Regarding the other two path following (square path and circular path) the system performed well too with slight oscillations about the intended path.

<<< Back to Tutorials