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Technical Brief

Experimental Comparisons of Sliding Mode Controlled Pneumatic Muscle and Cylinder Actuators

[+] Author and Article Information
Ville Jouppila

Department of Mechanics and Design,
Tampere University of Technology,
Tampere 33720, Finland
e-mail: ville.jouppila@tut.fi

S. Andrew Gadsden

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McMaster University,
Hamilton ON, L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: gadsden@mcmaster.ca

Asko Ellman

Department of Mechanics and Design,
Tampere University of Technology,
Tampere 33720, Finland

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received August 26, 2012; final manuscript received February 12, 2014; published online April 28, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Evangelos Papadopoulos.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 136(4), 044503 (Apr 28, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: DS-12-1278; doi: 10.1115/1.4026873 History: Received August 26, 2012; Revised February 12, 2014

Pneumatic muscle actuators offer a higher force-to-weight ratio compared to traditional cylinder actuators, and introduce stick-slip-free operation that offers an interesting option for positioning systems. Despite several advantages, pneumatic muscle actuators are commonly avoided in industrial applications, mainly due to rather different working principles. Due to the highly nonlinear characteristics of the muscle actuator and pneumatic system, a reliable control strategy is required. Although muscle actuators are widely studied, the literature lacks detailed studies where the performance for servo systems is compared with traditional pneumatic cylinders. In this paper, a pneumatic servo actuation system is compared with a traditional cylinder actuator. As the overall system dynamics are highly nonlinear and not well defined, a sliding mode control (SMC) strategy is chosen for the control action. In order to improve the tracking performance, an SMC strategy with an integral action (SMCI) is also implemented. The control algorithms are experimentally applied on the pneumatic muscle and the cylinder actuator, for the purposes of position tracking. The robustness of the systems are verified and compared by varying the applied loads.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Pneumatic servo system with muscle actuators (middle) and cylinder actuator (bottom)

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Fig. 2

Nonlinear muscle actuator force characteristics, maximum cylinder force, and specified operating region

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Fig. 3

(a) Servo mass flow rate and (b) servo mass flow rate

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Fig. 4

(a) Point-to-point positioning with muscle configuration. (b) Point-to-point positioning with cylinder configuration.

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Fig. 5

Sinusoidal tracking with 0.25 Hz

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Fig. 6

Sinusoidal tracking with 1.0 Hz

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Fig. 7

Sinusoidal tracking with 1.5 Hz

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Fig. 8

Robustness to payload variation

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