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This paper focuses on simulations of a dynamically stable mobile robot (Ballbot) with arms. The simulations are of Ballbot lifting its arms in various directions. A PD arm controller works independently of an LQR-designed balancing/station keeping controller. The PD controller drives the arms to follow desired trajectories. When the arms are raised, Ballbot assumes a leaning equilibrium (the physical equilibrium) as opposed to the standing equilibrium (body stands totally upright - a predefined desired equilibrium) that the LQR drives toward. The conflict between these two equilibria causes the robot to lose its balance when lifting heavy (10 kg) loads. A unified arm and station keeping/balancing controller is also described. The unified controller outperforms the independent controllers in some cases. Balancing only using arms and driving body movement with arms are briefly explored.



Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213