Andrew Burks

Tag: Controls

KDC Assignment 2: Simulated Spaceship Landing

by on Feb.21, 2011, under Classwork

For the second assignment in KDC the group needed to control a spaceship and land it on a free rotating Alien Artifact.  This was particularly difficult because the artifact didn’t have uniform density, so it would spin seemingly randomly in 3-space.  The only feedback we had on the artifact was the relative location of its 8 corners.  After observing it briefly, we were able to determine the principal axis of inertial and predict its motion using forward dynamics.  Here is a video of our lander approaching and docking with the artifact.  Note that while it looks like we just “stick” to the artifact, we are actually using thrusters to stay perfectly adjacent to it without ever making contact.

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Simulated Robot Control

by on Jan.28, 2011, under Classwork

Kinematics, Dynamic Systems, and Controls (16-711) is one of the most interesting and challenging classes I have ever taken.  We had a very difficult first assignment that involved controlling a simulated 2 link 2D robot arm.  Here is a video just to demonstrate an idea of what was going on:

At every timestep in the simulation, we are given the current joint angles and velocities, and we need to return values for torques that we want to apply at each of the two joints to control the arm.  Basically, we used PID Control to do some really cool stuff, including having the robot write my signature!

Jon was an incredible partner on this assignment and I look forward to working with him again.  You can view our final submission here.  I can’t wait till the next project!

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