Personal tools

Human Operator Control

Details about the human operator control models we are using to for the bicycle/rider system.

We are developing human operator control theoretic models based on the aircraft, rotorcraft, and automobile pilot models developed by Ron Hess. These models are rooted in manual control theory that where proposed in early papers by Tunstin and McRuer. The first model we are working with is based on the crossover model which assumes that the human adopts the dynamic characteristics needed to make the human/vehicle system similar in characteristics to typically desired for a controller with good performance.
Inner Loops
This shows the inner loop closures, the neuro-muscular model \(G_{nm_b}\) and the bicycle plant. The feedback is steer angle \(\delta\), roll rate \(\dot{\phi}\) and roll angle \(\phi\).
Outer Loop Closures
This shows the outer loops, heading \(\psi\) and lateral deviation \(y\), along with the commanded path \(y_c\).

The main body of work we've completed so far is a paper entitled "Modeling the Manually Controlled Bicycle" that has been accepted to IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics journal and is currently under peer review. Contact us if you'd like a preview copy of the draft.


We made the Simulink model and Matlab code for the paper available if you are eager to see it in action before the paper is published.
This software has some interesting potential such as:
  • It can be used to adjust bicycle and rider physical parameters to have favorable handling qualities (as we have defined them).
  • An optimization routine could be wrapped around the current code such that it will choose the optimal parameter set for a desired handling quality.
  • It can generate simulation results for tracking any path.

Example graphs

Closed Loop Bode Plots
The closed loop Bode plots of the inner most control loops for the Whipple bicycle model with the benchmark parameter set. Notice the similarity in an accepted Neuromuscular model and the \(\delta\) loop.
Handling Qualities
Handling qualities metric for six bicycles at three speeds and a a single bicycle controlled with a roll torque input. The higher the peak, the worst the handling.

Shows the path of the front wheel contact point for 6 different bicycles at 3 different speeds for a lane change maneuver and return plotted against distance.

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