Ball on Plate Control


Introduction: Ball on Plate Control

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A Ball on Plate system is the two dimension extension to the Ball on Beam system. The problem of the Ball on Beam becomes interesting because when the ball begins moving it will roll off the end of the beam if no control action is taken.

The construction of the Ball on Beam involves a beam that can be tilted either from the centre of the axis or from the edge axis by an actuator. The ball is restricted to one dimensional movement, which is along the beam only. The sensor used in this system measures the ball position and is usually a resistance wire running along the beam. The ball is made of conductive material, for instance a steel ball bearing. As the ball rolls sideways, this will vary the total resistance of the system, so the overall resistance will give the precise indication where the ball is. The Ball on Plate system is figured out as the 2-D evolution of the Ball on Beam system. It has an x and y-dimension which allows the ball to roll along different paths. This type of system can be controlled for both position of the ball and path following, thereby opening up another field in robotics, that is trajectory planning. It will have several direct applications too such as robotic manipulation of round objects. When it comes to indirect applications, undergraduate students will benefit from this because of demonstration in control and image processing and can be used as lab apparatus. Various experiments can be carried out by using this system.

These reference experiments are:
• Application and research of image processing algorithms
• Research of PID controller and other classical control methods
• System dynamics modelling and analysis
• Research of self-defined control algorithms



    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge

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    Actuators: used 2 RC servos for the X and Y axis. Matlab was used for the image processing and grabbing the co-ordinates of the ball. After the localization, the data it is send serially to the 32bit micro (ARM) and compute the PID control for the plate adjustment.

    Two things:

    1. Any chance of some instructions on how to replicate your work? Kinds of actuators, construction techniques, code used?

    2. You can embed the YouTube video in your Instructable.

    Well, three things actually;

    3. This is devilish clever.


    could you provide the instruction to replicate this work?

    excuse me, could you share a reference to me ?

    if I may , please send an email to me at

    This a great project to try to reproduce. I'm up for the challenge. I like the drawing shapes too. Awesome!

    can you provide me your program?

    could you provide me the tutorial project?


    ooh, maybe you could use this to make an unspillable drinking glass. You could set it down in your passenger seat or on your couch at home and it would make sure the liquid never spills out of it no matter what happens. hehe