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.
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