Disney Vibration-Minimizing Motion

I saw this video of Disney doing research on Anti-Vibration for motion.

This seems like it is a huge step in motion control. I feel like a lot of systems I’ve created a very plagued by vibration when trying to do control loops

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It’s some neat tech, but really more domain specific than it appears — this sort of elastodynamics just isn’t necessary when you can represent 99% of oscillations in FRC as a damped spring. If we’re trying to move the sort of mechanism you’d see in FRC from point A to point B as fast and as smooth as possible, there’s easier methods.

I’d posit that in FRC any significant amount of mechanical oscillation due to elastic deformation should be solved on the design side of things, as opposed to the controls side of things. It’s easier to stiffen up your arm than it is to implement a niche method of trajectory tracking, after all. I’d bet that robust mechanical design along with some form of motion profiling should eliminate all oscillations you care about.

In addition, if those oscillations are able to be modeled as simple damped springs (or a similar linear system), it’s pretty easy to eliminate them using modern closed loop controllers. Properly designed full state feedback/LQR based control should be able to eliminate all oscillations with your only limitations being controls bandwidth and model precision.

A really cool paper, for sure, and I certainly have a personal project or two in mind that I’ll be applying this to, but if you’re trying to tighten your robot control, I’d recommend checking out the easier methods ;p

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Definitely true for FRC usages. A good chunk of what Disney research produces is domain specific to their engineering challenges - not being able to add reinforcement or choose materials freely (due to artistic priorities) leads to creative fixes, recently involving software.

Which, in and of itself, is super awesome, because they’re solving unique challenges that don’t get touched in other industries, or even academia!

I’ve always been enthralled by the job role of their “Imagineers”, or at least what I imagine it to be from old documentaries. Joe Rohde was, and still is, the face of this wing of Disney to me.

Disney operates with a Blue Sky design process. Artistic creatives think of BIG BIG ideas free from constraints, and then other teams work on solutions like these to solve problems and build compromises to implement those big ideas as closely as possible to the original concept.