At the 2010 American Control Conference we had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Levine from the University of Maryland. He was presenting a paper on the ball and beam control experiment and demonstrating it in person at The MathWorks booth. The experiment developed by Dr. Levine uses Quanser's servo, data acquisition board, and real-time software QUARC. You can see the experiment in this video or read his paper. The paper is titled “A Ball and Curved Offset Beam Experiment”, authored by Jansen Sheng, Jay Renner and William S. Levine.
The straight beam in the ball and beam control experiment was replaced by a curved beam mounted away from its center of rotation. The resulting system is much harder to understand, model and control than the ball and straight beam. Nonetheless, the apparatus was constructed, a model was derived using Lagrangian mechanics, and a controller was designed using a linearized model and the LQR. This controller was implemented and successfully stabilized the ball on the curved offset beam.
The paper is available in Proceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments.