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Title: Visual feedback stabilisation of a cart inverted pendulum A
Author: Ingram, Stephen D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 2524
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2016
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Vision-based object stabilisation is an exciting and challenging area of research, and is one that promises great technical advancements in the field of computer vision. As humans, we are capable of a tremendous array of skilful interactions, particularly when balancing unstable objects that have complex, non-linear dynamics. These complex dynamics impose a difficult control problem, since the object must be stabilised through collaboration between applied forces and vision-based feedback. To coordinate our actions and facilitate delivery of precise amounts of muscle torque, we primarily use our eyes to provide feedback in a closed-loop control scheme. This ability to control an inherently unstable object by vision-only feedback demonstrates an exceptionally high degree of voluntary motor skill. Despite the pervasiveness of vision-based stabilisation in humans and animals, relatively little is known about the neural strategies used to achieve this task. In the last few decades, with advancements in technology, we have tried to impart the skill of vision-based object stabilisation to machines, with varying degrees of success. Within the context of this research, we continue this pursuit by employing the classic Cart Inverted Pendulum; an inherently unstable, non-linear system to investigate dynamic object balancing by vision-only feedback. The Inverted Pendulum is considered to be one of the most fundamental benchmark systems in control theory; as a platform, it provides us with a strong, well established test bed for this research. We seek to discover what strategies are used to stabilise the Cart Inverted Pendulum, and to determine if these strategies can be deployed in Real-Time, using cost-effective solutions. The thesis confronts, and overcomes the problems imposed by low-bandwidth USB cameras; such as poor colour-balance, image noise and low frame rates etc., to successfully achieve vision-based stabilisation. The thesis presents a comprehensive vision-based control system that is capable of balancing an inverted pendulum with a resting oscillation of approximately ±1º. We employ a novel, segment-based location and tracking algorithm, which was found to have excellent noise immunity and enhanced robustness. We successfully demonstrate the resilience of the tracking and pose estimation algorithm against visual disturbances in Real-Time, and with minimal recovery delay. The algorithm was evaluated against peer reviewed research; in terms of processing time, amplitude of oscillation, measurement accuracy and resting oscillation. For each key performance indicator, our system was found to be superior in many cases to that found in the literature. The thesis also delivers a complete test software environment, where vision-based algorithms can be evaluated. This environment includes a flexible tracking model generator to allow customisation of visual markers used by the system. We conclude by successfully performing off-line optimization of our method by means of Artificial Neural Networks, to achieve a significant improvement in angle measurement accuracy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Goodrich Engine Control Systems ; Balfour Beatty Rail Technologies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Visual control ; Cart inverted pendulum ; PID control ; Artificial neural networks ; Intelligent algorithms