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Automated Bicycle Human-in-the-Loop Control

Description

Bicycles are already used for daily transportation by a large share of the world's population and provide a partial solution for many issues facing the world today. The low environmental

Bicycles are already used for daily transportation by a large share of the world's population and provide a partial solution for many issues facing the world today. The low environmental impact of bicycling combined with the reduced requirement for road and parking spaces makes bicycles a good choice for transportation over short distances in urban areas. Bicycle riding has also been shown to improve overall health and increase life expectancy. However, riding a bicycle may be inconvenient or impossible for persons with disabilities due to the complex and coordinated nature of the task. Automated bicycles provide an interesting area of study for human-robot interaction, due to the number of contact points between the rider and the bicycle. The goal of the Smart Bike project is to provide a platform for future study of the physical interaction between a semi-autonomous bicycle robot and a human rider, with possible applications in rehabilitation and autonomous vehicle research.

This thesis presents the development of two balance control systems, which utilize actively controlled steering and a control moment gyroscope to stabilize the bicycle at high and low speeds. These systems may also be used to introduce disturbances, which can be useful for studying human reactions. The effectiveness of the steering balance control system is verified through testing with a PID controller in an outdoor environment. Also presented is the development of a force sensitive bicycle seat which provides feedback used to estimate the pose of the rider on the bicycle. The relationship between seat force distribution is demonstrated with a motion capture experiment. A corresponding software system is developed for balance control and sensor integration, with inputs from the rider, the internal balance and steering controller, and a remote operator.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Physical Human-Bicycle Interfaces for Robotic Balance Assistance

Description

Riding a bicycle requires accurately performing several tasks, such as balancing and navigation, which may be difficult or even impossible for persons with disabilities. These difficulties may be partly alleviated

Riding a bicycle requires accurately performing several tasks, such as balancing and navigation, which may be difficult or even impossible for persons with disabilities. These difficulties may be partly alleviated by providing active balance and steering assistance to the rider. In order to provide this assistance while maintaining free maneuverability, it is necessary to measure the position of the rider on the bicycle and to understand the rider's intent. Applying autonomy to bicycles also has the potential to address some of the challenges posed by traditional automobiles, including CO2 emissions, land use for roads and parking, pedestrian safety, high ownership cost, and difficulty traversing narrow or partially obstructed paths.

The Smart Bike research platform provides a set of sensors and actuators designed to aid in understanding human-bicycle interaction and to provide active balance control to the bicycle. The platform consists of two specially outfitted bicycles, one with force and inertial measurement sensors and the other with robotic steering and a control moment gyroscope, along with the associated software for collecting useful data and running controlled experiments. Each bicycle operates as a self-contained embedded system, which can be used for untethered field testing or can be linked to a remote user interface for real-time monitoring and configuration. Testing with both systems reveals promising capability for applications in human-bicycle interaction and robotics research.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020