SELBA – Self-Balancing Motorbike

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Group Design Project
A balancing system utilising gyroscopes to stabilise any two wheeled vehicle
Group Members
Rob Taylor, Alex Gough, Jaimin Shah, Shoon Yik Lim, Ser Chin Beh, Andrew Tsang

Professor Roberto Lot, Dr. Emiliano Rustighi

National Instrument Corporation

This project aimed to demonstrate the viability of stabilising a motorbike at low speeds, using gyroscopic forces from autonomous actuation of high velocity flywheels. There are currently no existing commercially viable gyroscopic self-balancing systems for motorcycles, largely due to the complexity of resolving the design and various safety considerations.

Autonomous vehicles are considered by many to be the future of transport promising safer, more comfortable transportation for users, reductions in traffic congestion, and reducing emissions. Motorcycles require less space than cars, significantly improving road efficiency.

A gyroscope was selected to achieve stabilisation for this autonomous motorcycle. An important design consideration for use on a motorcycle is the effect of the potentially dangerous gyroscopic forces when in regular use. The use of two counter-rotating flywheels actuated in opposite directions cancel out these unwanted forces. A single flywheel stabilisation system would result in unwanted yaw.
To manage the complexity of the testing process, a modular system was designed so each one could be tested individually. For proof of concept on an inverted pendulum, the effects of yaw from using a single module would not affect the stabilisation. In the future, two working modules would be used for a working motorcycle.

Extensive investigation was undertaken using multi-body modelling analysis of the design, prior to the production of a fully functional prototype.

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