Friday Video (Bonus 3): Students at Adelaide University replicate inherently unstable Star Wars ground vehicle, then add stability

When George Lucas’ animation team creates the fantastic vehicles in the Star Wars films, they can selectively ignore the laws of physics. In the movies, they can depend on non-existent engineering artifacts such as antimatter power generators and antigravity fields to make the vehicles do incredible things. Now students at Adelaide University in Southern Australia have developed a 2-wheeled vehicle with the single rider seated between immense side-by-side wheels. Think of a Segway that encapsulates the rider. This project has taken at least three years, so far.

The video below shows you how inherently unstable such a vehicle is. Without active damping, the rider is likely to get seasick quite quickly. Then the design team exercises a bit more System Realization expertise and adds a control system that dampens the wild oscillations, transforming this personal Ferris Wheel into a viable personal transport.

Here’s the video:

About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
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