Building A Segway Collaboration

So, I'm working on making a segway in my vocational tech class as a graded project. I am able to design pieces and send the sketches to another tech class that can make what I need, but I have to find or make the actual electrical components, such as micro-controllers, sensors, etc., myself. The school allows a certain budget for buying necessary components, but I do need help figuring out what pieces I need. I am a wiz at programming and can learn almost any language within a few weeks. What I really need help with is figuring out the electronics. I don't want people just telling me what to use, I'd like an explanation, even a short one, so I understand why the piece is needed and increase my understanding of electronics. I am currently clueless about the different brands and types of micro-controllers, and would really like help in that respect, and as the project progresses, I am sure I will need more help. The topic has 'Collaboration' in the title because I would like multiple suggestions and tips to learn from and choose, and multiple sources of input could help me in the long run. So, for the first question, I have to ask, what would be the best micro-processor for building a segway, and why?

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gvearl3 years ago
The most expensive and basic components of your segway would be batteries, motors, controllers (including gyro system)... The batteries provide the power to the motors through the controlling system(s) which for a Segway will have two systems that work together... A self balancing system of controls and a manual system of controls for the forward/reverse... I know you probably know this already so bare with me if I bore you... After finding a set of motors strong enough to support the weight of the rider (my picture shows a robot platform I just completed with 2 90VDC 1A motors by Baldor that held my weight at 220 lbs) but able to run the voltage needed to transport that weight forward... Bigger wheels will make it easier for the Segway to go over most terrain... After finding your motors you match the batteries to the load (motors) by either raising the voltage by putting them in series (3 12V 1.5A batteries connected + to - in series will give you 36V at 1.5A and 3 12V 1.5A batteries connected + to + and - to - in parallel will give you 12V at 4.5A... Voltage giving you the push and Amperage sustaining the push... Start with 12 or 24V initially to test so you don't burn anything out... You can add more batteies later)... The self balancing system can be done multiple ways which may test your creativity. Two ways I am aware or are to either have two sensors underneath that sense the distance to the ground... One in front and one in back. As the Segway leans forward the front sensor is triggered and automatically engages the motors to reverse to bring it back to balance... If it overcorrects and go back too far the rear sensor will activate the motors to go forward until it balances between the two points... These sensors would be programmed thru a micro controller or PLC. Another way is to use a potentiometer (just like a radio knob) mointed on the base with a swinging pendulum type arm connected with a weight on the end... As the Segway leans one way the arm swings and changes the resistance value of the potentiometer and can be read by the controller... According to the values set in the controller it will balance itself. Anyway... A Segway is one of my next projects so I'd like to hear how your project is going that way we can help each other out... -G.
Kiteman4 years ago
Rather than answer your question, I will provide a link.

Click here for a bunch of projects that will contain answers you require, authored by experts who can answer better than I.
Nightshade49627 (author)  Kiteman4 years ago
Wow, quick answer. Thank you for the link, I'll look into it and post any questions I may have that I can't seem to find the answer to.
I happened to be passing...
gas....wait, use electric motors.
I teach teenagers - your witticisms hold no fear for me!