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Topic: (Yet another) balancing robot (Read 2413 times) previous topic - next topic


Hi, first post here.

I've released the source code for my balancing robot on my Github account, under a GPLv3 license. (Link will follow, as I can't post one on my first message.)

The robot is quite simple, using the same complementary filter + PID control loop you'll find almost everywhere else, but the implementation has some nice details that might be reused by other projects, such as a (very simple) RTOS-like scheduler and a Playstation2 driver (based on Studio Gyokimae's, but with smaller memory requirements).

(By the way: the comments in the code are all in portuguese, but I intend to translate them to english ASAP. The code is pretty easy to follow, though, so they might not even be needed.)

Have fun -- and should you have any questions, just ask :)


Mar 07, 2010, 04:32 pm Last Edit: Mar 07, 2010, 04:32 pm by lafp Reason: 1
Here's a photo of it externally (it's built on a standard Patola project box):

And here's a internal shot:

A video that shows it working is also available here:


The link to my repository is: http://github.com/lpereira/Balancing-Robot


the comments are easy to translate with
That is ASAP ;)


Boa Leandro :)

Very good one. I am somewhat curious about the RTOS-like scheduler. Can you provide the relevant code so I can take a look ?




I am somewhat curious about the RTOS-like scheduler. Can you provide the relevant code so I can take a look?

Sure. It's not actually that powerful -- but it was sufficient for this robot. There's not even preemption.

Anyway, the relevant code follows. First, the Task class:
Code: [Select]

typedef void (*TaskCallback)(TaskManager &);

class Task {
 long m_countdown, m_period;
 TaskCallback m_callback;

 friend class TaskManager;

 long decrementCountdownBy(long by) {
   return m_countdown -= by;

 void inline resetCountdown(void) {
   m_countdown = m_period;

 void inline run(TaskManager &tm) {

 Task(TaskCallback callback, long period) :
 m_callback(callback), m_countdown(period), m_period(period) {


Each task will be an instance of this class. Like so, for a blinking LED example with 1000ms interval:

Code: [Select]

void task1(TaskManager &tm)
   static ledStatus = false;
   digitalWrite(13, ledStatus^=1);

Task tasks[] = { Task(task1, 1000); };

You'll also need the scheduler itself; relevant parts of the code follows:

Code: [Select]
class TaskManager {
 Task *m_tasks;
 unsigned int m_nTasks;
 unsigned long m_lastTime;

 void sleep(void) {
 TaskManager(Task *tasks, int n_tasks) :
 m_tasks(tasks), m_nTasks(n_tasks), m_lastTime(0L) {


 void inline loop() {
   Task *task;
   unsigned int n_task;
   unsigned long elapsedTime = millis() - m_lastTime;

   for (n_task = m_nTasks; n_task > 0; n_task--) {
     task = &m_tasks[n_task];

     if (task->decrementCountdownBy(elapsedTime) <= 0) {

   m_lastTime = millis();

So, if you call the loop() method of the task manager, all tasks will be executed roughly at the frequency you told them to execute:

Code: [Select]

TaskManger tm(tasks, 1);

void loop()

As there is no preemption, you should be aware that a task won't be stopped in middle-air. Also, there is no guarantee that the task execution periods will be respected. It is crude, but sufficient for most things people use Arduinos for :)


Very cool!  Nice work, keep it up!


That task-manager RTOS thingie is pretty slick; thanks for posting that (this should go in the playground).

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


So this is basically a event-driven dispatcher, using timers, right ?

Any plans on a real scheduler+ctx switcher ?

I've been thinking about that for a while now, and I find that register+stack saving/restoring would be quite slow. And would need some sort of signalling too.



Any plans on a real scheduler+ctx switcher ?

I've thought about that, but since there are already RTOSes compatible with Atmega168/328, I don't think it's a good idea to reinvent the wheel :)

Two systems that might be interesting to look and try to use on an Arduino: http://www.femtoos.org/ and http://funkos.sourceforge.net/


Thanks for the links. Will try them when I have some spare time.



Nice job leandro  ;)

what type of motors are you using ??


It seems very stable, good job! What type of sensors is it using? and what brands/models?

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