Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Greg R. Luecke


Gyroscopes have played an important role in the science community with uses ranging from simple classroom demonstrations to cutting edge technological advancements. They offer a unique source of torque that has been proven useful in a wide range of applications. One common educational demonstration calls for a person to stand on a pivoting platform, and hold a spinning bicycle wheel with one hand on each side of the axle. As the person rotates their arms, causing precession of the bicycle tire, they begin to spin on the platform. This is due to the dynamic effect of the gyroscope and is a perfect example of a control moment gyro. This paper presents the use of control moment gyros as a compact way of dynamically controlling an inverted pendulum. The dynamic characteristics are derived for a dual-gyroscope configuration that generates torque proportional to the velocity about the gimbal axis. Classical control theory is used to design a controller that not only stabilizes the pendulum, but also controls the gyroscopes to return to a neutral steady state position. Control gains are adjusted to account for noise effects and to compensate for parameter errors, and an accelerometer is used to replace the potentiometer measuring the vertical angle. With the theory and background in place, experimental results are presented to verify the predicted response and validate the control approach. The end result is a stable system that is resilient to a broad range of external influences and erroneous measurements.

Copyright Owner

Chris Joel Walck



File Format


File Size

54 pages

Included in

Robotics Commons