Reference Frame Regulation for a Biplanar Bicycle
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The biplanar bicycle is an experimental vehicle configuration that has been the focus of recent autonomous vehicle research at Virginia Tech. Although the vehicle can be advantageous due to its zero-radius turning and ability to traverse discontinuous terrain, one key disadvantage of the configuration is that it lacks a stable reference frame from which observations of the surroundings can be based. A solution to this problem is presented here in the form of actuators designed to actively control the oscillations of a reference frame. The orientation of a camera attached to a mast extended above the vehicle is specifically considered. Autonomous operation of the vehicle could utilize image processing to navigate, but the camera must maintain a fixed orientation for the data to be valid. The work presented examines not only the regulation of the reference frame, but also the effects of such regulation on the velocity response of the vehicle. Practical considerations such as sensors, actuators, cost, and complexity are addressed. Although this work is centered around the biplanar bicycle, similar approaches can be extended to orientation of an arbitrary body in space.
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