Autonomous Bicycle Project (2015)

Conventional methods of balancing a bicycle, which exhibits stability and behaviour similar to that of an inverted pendulum, involves implementation of complex control systems and hence is difficult to achieve. It leads to increased complexity of the system as well as the cost. However, this research presented a method to attain the same with ease using a mechanically implemented control system which stabilizes the roll of the system. The research focused on the novel system design to achieve the stability mechanically and to convert the bicycle into a drive by wire system with proper modifications to the braking and driving. The uniqueness of the design is that the bicycle doesn’t lose its normal operation and can be operated in a dual locomotion mode. Autonomous Navigation of the bicycle was achieved by localizing it with respect to its initial position and using global positioning system (GPS) for intelligent manoeuvring by responding to the GPS coordinates of the destination received via SMS. The bicycle detects the obstacles in its path using laser and sonar based sensors and uses these data to appropriately plan its motion. The proposed product could find wide end to end applications such as autonomous parking and retrieval of bicycle to the users’ location, sharing between multiple persons. Also, with further modifications the technology can be transferred to motor bikes and autonomous navigation could be achieved. The dual locomotion mode added to the low cost and less complexity of the autonomous bicycle make this a viable  .

My work revolved around operating the unconventional high torque encoder DC motors without lags and also implementing obstacle avoidance as a whole. Also I soldered the power circuits and the development of the prototype. Also I worked on implemented real time magnetic encoders, although the implementation was not used in the final prototype that was presented before the judges. I also assisted in other domains like GSM interfacing and GPS data logging.

The student member team which completed this project won Gold Medals and recognitions at various places and competition. The research was also published in the IEEE Transportation and Electrification Conference. (ITEC).


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