Open Pendulum Challenge

Open Pendulum Challenge


In our institute, we have a running controlled triple pendulum that we use to show-case the scope and potential of control theory to the interested public at visits of school classes or at our open door days.

For this challenge, we provide

  • a mathematical description of the system,
  • Matlab routines for simulation,
  • a well-documented I/O Simulink model (Simulink) of our test setup, and
  • measured input/output data and invite everyone to develop and test their own approaches in the model.

Thanks to the clearly defined I/O interface, it will be even possible to try out the controllers in our experiments. For that we will organize a number of public (online) events.


We plan with the following dates

  • October 15 – publication of the resources and definition of the control tasks
  • November 30 – first online challenge
  • February 19 – second online challenge

As soon as the code is out, we are happy to answer questions and receive submissions. Please contact Jan Heiland for information and instructions and conditions of code submission.

To stay up to date with the developments, please subscribe to our mailing list either by sending a mail with the subject subscribe mpi-ifac-opc22 your name to or trough the web interface.

Your Gains

Apart from fame and the unique experience of seeing your approaches work in an experimental setup, you can count on the following long-lasting personal outcomes:

  • Everyone, who joins the challenge with a code submission will receive a mug that is specially designed for the challenge.
  • Everyone interested can contribute to our overview paper on nonlinear controller design exemplified for the planar triple pendulum.


We acknowledge generous funding by the IFAC Activity fund.

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