Design and Validation of Steer, Roll, Yaw and Sway Motion of a Kinematics-Based Bicycle Simulator

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Bicycle simulator research has been the subject of considerable research, however, few of these attempts have integrated direct balance control and enough freedom of motion to deliver a real-world kinematic cycling experience. In this study, the B.I.K.E. (Bicycle Intrinsic Kinematics Emulator) system, a kinematic bicycle simulator, is developed with the purpose of letting its users experience realistic kinematic motion, which are: steer, roll, yaw and sway motions. This study validates the developed simulator by performing a kinematic comparison of bicycle motion among 15 participants of varying age and mass, and performs an initial subjective study to investigate effects common to indoor vehicle simulation. Manoeuvres performed by the participants are straight-line cycling, at low (5 km/h) to high (40 km/h) velocities, as well as performing a zig-zagging motion. The results show that users can successfully rely on existing bicycle skills to use the simulator. They also show that, in the kinematic sense, the simulator performs similarly to an outdoor bicycle, particularly at velocities below 35 km/h, but more work is needed in improving the vehicle model and control algorithm to accurately cover low to high-velocity cycling. Subjectively speaking, the simulator performs better than existing static solutions, but more work will be required to make the riding experience feel like real outdoor cycling.