An emerging field of research is the analysis of non-smooth dynamical systems, with the impact phenomena coming under investigation in this paper. A ball bouncing system demands expertise in fields including mechanical design, electrical design, dynamical analysis and control theory. Unconventional problems require engineers who are competent in all these subjects and have an overview of the system behaviour. Mechatronic approach allows to design the machinery with the ultimate purpose of achieving stable, fast and errorless behaviour.
In my final project I adopted this methodology to show the reader how theory applies to practice. The machine was designed based on a working solution and it was simplified by the use of more easily available parts. The control unit in the system is a Raspberry Pi, that controls the servos based on the position data. A highly interesting feature is the ball sensing method, that was achieved by using four microphones and the position was calculated from time differences between bounce readings.
The resulting platform is capable of keeping the ball in the air for 15 seconds while actively controlling the position that is an astonishing achievement in the context of the system complexity.