Virtual-holonomic-constraints-based design of stable oscillations of Furuta pendulum: Theory and experiments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Furuta pendulum consists of an arm rotating in the horizontal plane and a pendulum attached to its end. Rotation of the arm is controlled by a DC motor, while the pendulum is moving freely in the plane, orthogonal to the arm. Motivated, in particular, by possible applications for walking/running/balancing robots, we consider the Furuta pendulum as a system for which synchronized periodic motions of all the generalized coordinates are to be created and stabilized. The goal is to achieve, via appropriate feedback control action, orbitally exponentially stable oscillations of the pendulum of various shapes around its upright and downward positions, accompanied with oscillations of the arm. Our approach is based on the idea of stabilization of a particular virtual holonomic constraint imposed on the configuration coordinates, which has been theoretically developed recently. Here, we elaborate on the complete design procedure. The results are illustrated not only through numerical simulations but also through successful experimental tests.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Control Engineering


  • orbital, furuta pendulum, motion planning for periodic orbits, stability, virtual holonomic constraints
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-832
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

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