I have (finally) gotten around to getting KIWI to balance in simulation. All in took me about an hour to write up the pid_controller and get it to stay upright. A little longer to nail down twist tracking via a /cmd_vel command. The core logic is remarkably simple, and I think serves as a great showcase of the “power of PID”. In the same way I think that people tend to overlook linear regression for their solutions as it’s not shiny enough, I really think people under-estimate how far a well-tuned PID can get you.
In our last post, we blocked out a primitive 3d model of our inverted pendulum. From here, the next step is to get the basic mesh into Gazebo, to allow us to begin testing in simulation. From Zero to Gazebo I suspect that everyone who has ever used ROS has had to deal with the horror of building/installing ROS. It can become a serious pain, and you wouldn’t believe the number of hours I’ve had to spend in the past dealing with missing/incorrect dependencies, or the source code refusing to compile.