Imitate the dynamical behavior of a segway or a crane with one piece of hardware. Engage students in developing heuristic and optimal controllers, which will swing-up the pendulum rod.
The pendulum comes in a durable transparent casing (other types of casing are also available), that house custom made electrical driver and power source. The cart to which the pendulum is attached is connected with a chain to the first encoder, that measures the movement of the cart. The second encoder measures the rotational dynamics of the pendulum.