Inverted Pendulum Control

Balancing an inverted pendulum may seem like a purely academic challenge, but the control algorithm that is used is analogous to a wide variety of real-life problems, from Segway scooters to rockets. In this lab, students will begin by learning the fundamentals of inverted pendulum control, followed by optimal control of an inverted pendulum in section two. They will then apply this knowledge to a hands-on activity using the Quanser Controls Board, perform calculations, and answer free response questions.
by Quanser Inc.

Instructor Resources available. Get Access



This is lab 4 of 6 in the course, Control System Design and Analysis.


After completing this lab, students will be able to:
  1. Design a controller to balance an inverted pendulum using pole placement. 
  2. Design an optimized controller for an inverted pendulum.
  3. Implement a hybrid swing-up controller for energy-based automatic inversion. 


  • Differential Equations or equivalent
  • Linear Algebra or equivalent
  • Dynamic Systems or equivalent
  • Basic LabVIEW Proficiency


LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.

Quanser Controls Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Controls Application Board is a versatile servo system designed to teach the fundamentals of DC motor control, with an optional pendulum module to teach advanced topics in non-linear control.


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

Required Software

Download Academic Software, Learn About Software Licensing
  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design & Simulation (Requires License)

Required Hardware

Purchase Engineering Education Products


Instructor resources are available. Get access


Log in to submit a comment.