Mechanics and Control of Pumping a Playground Swing and Robotic Implementation
We explored the mechanics of a simple pendulum to find the best method to increase the amplitude the fastest way possible. In our experiment, we used MATLAB to simulate the equations of motion and test different approaches to pumping a pendulum. In addition, we used LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Sets to demonstrate the theoretical equations with a physical pumping swing robot. Three different pumping methods were utilized and analyzed by the MATLAB simulations and one was used in the hardware section. The goal was to determine which method increased the amplitude of the swing after a specific amount of oscillations. Upon completion of the experiment, we confirmed that pumping a swing in a pattern-based motion did increase the amplitude of a pendulum. Our results showed that the combined pumping method increased the pendulum amplitude the fastest.