Inverted Pendulum

Inverted Pendulum with LEGO NXT and LabVIEW

This lesson allows students to design a basic inverted pendulum application by making a self-balancing segway.


The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is an easy-to-use and powerful robotic tool with many possibilities. LabVIEW provides an intuitive graphical programming language to help students learn robotics. The two can be combined to solve the classic inverted pendulum problem with a self balancing segway. The basic principles behind the balancing equation can be learned without having to understand complex control theory. This lesson uses the basics of programming and logical flow to introduce students to the inverted pendulum concept.


Learning Objectives

  • Students solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.
  • Students use engineering design methodologies to apply decision‐making strategies when developing solutions.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of rotational dynamics, weight, friction, and traction factors required for the operation of robotic and automated systems.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of torque and power factors used in the operation of robotic systems.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of feedback control loops to provide information.
  • Students demonstrate knowledge of different types of sensors used in robotic or automated systems and their operations.

Teaching Standards for Texas (TEKS)

  • Physics -  2G, 6C
  • Algebra I - 3A, 4B, 8A
  • Algebra II - 3A