We consider an experimental system consisting of a pendulum, which is free to rotate 360 degrees, attached to a cart which can move in one dimension. There is stick slip friction between the cart and the track on which it moves. Using two different models for this friction we design feedback controllers to stabilize the pendulum in the upright position. We show that controllers based on either friction model give better performance than one based on a simple viscous friction model. We then study the effect of time delay in this controller, by calculating the critical time delay where the system loses stability and comparing the calculated value with experimental data. Both models lead to controllers with similar robustness with respect to delay. Using numerical simulations, we show that the effective critical time delay of the experiment is much less than the calculated theoretical value because the basin of attraction of the stable equilibrium point is very small.

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