The builkdits blog talks about building furuta pendulums for a university class. Per Wikipedia:
The Furuta pendulum, or rotational inverted pendulum, consists of a driven arm which rotates in the horizontal plane and a pendulum attached to that arm which is free to rotate in the vertical plane. It was invented in 1992 at Tokyo Institute of Technology by Katsuhisa Furuta and his colleagues.
These pendulums are beautifully crafted with machined parts, optical encoders, slip rings, motors, and control circuits.
See the video below for the pendulums in action and the post for their construction.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.