Project Name: Self Balancing Reaction Wheel Cube
Design and 3D print a reaction wheel cube and code it to be able to balance on a corner (even on inclined surfaces) and react to disturbances like pushing. I was inspired to build this project from videos online of how they’re used in satelites (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH8a_UaOFHY&ab_channel=Engineeringandarchitecture). I am following a guide on how to create the cube, but I plan to expand on it through programming a custom software that would allow it to move by generating angular velocity. Once there is lots of force in the wheels, suddenly stopping them would push the cube up. This would allow the cube to move, and would turn it into a controllable robot of sorts.
I’ve already begun designing the .stl files in Solidworks which will be used to print the cubes frame, and I’ve assured access to 3D printers before the building week. I’ll buy some screws and bolts to act as weights out of my own pocket as they’re pretty cheap. Once the parts come in I should be ready to begin assembly, and it should take no more than 2 days to actually build the cube. The aspect of the cube I am the most interested in is programming the cube, and I plan to do this using an arduino connected to the motor. After creating the cube, it would be an interesting challenge to try and develop a program that could measure the rpm of the motors, and turn that into a measurement of how far the cube will be pushed up after a sudden stop. I do have some experience in coding using arduino, and this project seems like a new way to learn and challenge my skills in physics and programming. All of the computation will be done through an Arduino microcontroller. Once all of the electrical parts of the cube (mors, gyroscope, battery, etc.) are connected to the Arduino, I will develop a program and upload it to the Arduino. It will be programmed in the Arduino IDE which uses C++, and there are specific libraries like the DC motors library which will help me actually program it. The general plan for the code is to take in readings from the gyroscope to determine if the cube is about to fall over. Once that’s done, the cube should adjust its motors so that it can stay balanced.
The prices are in USD with 13% tax added on.