Research Papers

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121001-121001-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040440.

Hybrid analog/digital control of bilateral teleoperation systems can lead to superior performance (transparency) while maintaining stability compared to pure analog or digital control methods. Such hybrid control is preferable over pure analog control, which is inflexible and not ideal for realizing complex teleoperation control algorithms, and pure digital control, which restricts teleoperation performance due to a well-known stability-imposed upper bound on the product of the digital controller's proportional gain and the sampling period. In this paper, a hybrid controller combining a Field programmable analog array (FPAA) based analog controller and a personal computer-based digital controller is compared in terms of performance and stability to its analog and digital counterparts. A stability analysis indicates that the addition of analog derivative term widens the range of teleoperation controls gains that satisfy the stability conditions, paving the way for improving the teleoperation performance. We also show how the hybrid controller leads to better teleoperation performance. To this end, we study the human's performance of a switch flipping task and a stiffness discrimination task in the teleoperation mode. In both tasks, the hybrid analog/digital controller allows the human operators to achieve the highest task success rates.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121002-121002-15. doi:10.1115/1.4040463.

This paper presents, compares, and tests two robust model reference adaptive impedance controllers for a three degrees-of-freedom (3DOF) powered prosthesis/test robot. We first present a model for a combined system that includes a test robot and a transfemoral prosthetic leg. We design these two controllers, so the error trajectories of the system converge to a boundary layer and the controllers show robustness to ground reaction forces (GRFs) as nonparametric uncertainties and also handle model parameter uncertainties. We prove the stability of the closed-loop systems for both controllers for the prosthesis/test robot in the case of nonscalar boundary layer trajectories using Lyapunov stability theory and Barbalat's lemma. We design the controllers to imitate the biomechanical properties of able-bodied walking and to provide smooth gait. We finally present simulation results to confirm the efficacy of the controllers for both nominal and off-nominal system model parameters. We achieve good tracking of joint displacements and velocities, and reasonable control and GRF magnitudes for both controllers. We also compare performance of the controllers in terms of tracking, control effort, and parameter estimation for both nominal and off-nominal model parameters.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121003-121003-6. doi:10.1115/1.4040504.

This paper explains the control scheme that is to be used in the magnetic suspension mass comparator (MSMC), an instrument designed to directly compare mass artifacts in air to those in vacuum, at the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology. More specifically, the control system is used to apply a magnetic force between two chambers to magnetically suspend the mass artifacts, which allows for a direct comparison (i.e., a calibration) between the mass held in air and a mass held in vacuum. Previous control efforts that have been demonstrated on a proof-of-concept (POC) of this system utilized proportional-integral-derivative (PID)-based control with measurements of the magnetic field as the control signal. Here, we implement state-feedback control using a laser interferometric displacement measurement with a noise floor of approximately 5 nm (root-mean-square). One of the unique features and main challenges in this system is that, in order to achieve the necessary accuracy (relative uncertainty of 20 × 10−9 in the MSMC), the magnetic suspension must not impose appreciable lateral forces or moments. Therefore, in this design, a single magnetic actuator is used to generate a suspension force in the vertical direction, while gravity and the symmetry of the magnetic field provide the lateral restoring forces. The combined optical measurement and state-feedback control strategy presented here demonstrate an improvement over the previously reported results with magnetic field measurements and a PID-based control scheme.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121004-121004-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040666.

Dead-zone is one of the most common hard nonlinearities ubiquitous in master–slave teleoperation systems, particularly in the slave robot joints. However, adaptive control techniques applied in teleoperation systems usually deal with dynamic uncertainty but ignore the presence of dead-zone. Dead-zone has the potential to remarkably deteriorate the transparency of a teleoperation system in the sense of position and force tracking performance or even destabilizing the system if not compensated for in the control scheme. In this paper, an adaptive bilateral control scheme is proposed for nonlinear teleoperation systems in the presence of both uncertain dynamics and dead-zone. An adaptive controller is designed for the master robot with dynamic uncertainties and the other is developed for the slave robot with both dynamic uncertainties and unknown dead-zone. The two controllers are incorporated into the four-channel bilateral teleoperation control framework to achieve transparency. The transparency and stability of the closed-loop teleoperation system is studied via a Lyapunov function analysis. Comparisons with the conventional adaptive control which merely deal with dynamic uncertainties in the simulations demonstrate the validity of the proposed approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121005-121005-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040590.

This paper proposes an uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE)-based controller for nonlinear systems with mismatched uncertainties and disturbances, integrating the UDE-based control and the conventional backstepping scheme. The adoption of the backstepping scheme helps to relax the structural constraint of the UDE-based control. Moreover, the reference model design in the UDE-based control offers a solution to address the “complexity explosion” problem of the backstepping approach. Furthermore, the strict-feedback form condition in the conventional backstepping approach is also relaxed by using the UDE-based control to estimate and compensate “disturbance-like” terms including nonstrict-feedback terms and intermediate system errors. The uniformly ultimate boundedness of the closed-loop system is analyzed. Both numerical and experimental studies are provided.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121006-121006-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040662.

This paper focuses on the design of an observer-based backstepping controller (BC) for a nonlinear hydraulic differential cylinder system. The system is affected by some uncertainties including modeling errors, external disturbances, and measurement noise. An observer-based control approach is proposed to assure suitable tracking performance and to increase robustness against unknown inputs. The task to estimate system states as well as unknown inputs is performed by a linear proportional-integral-observer (PIO). Input–output linearization is used to linearize the nonlinear system model to be used for the PIO structure. On the other hand, BC is utilized based on nonlinear system model to construct the Lyapunov function and to design the control input simultaneously. Stability or negativeness of the derivative of every-step Lyapunov function is fulfilled. Structural improvement regarding the combination of BC and PIO is the main aim of this contribution. This is supported by a novel stability proof and new conditions for the whole control loop with integrated PIO. Furthermore, parameter selection of BC is elaborately considered by defining a performance/energy criterion. A complete robustness evaluation considering different levels of additional measurement noise, modeling errors, and external disturbances is presented for the first time in this contribution. Experimental results validate the advantages of proposed observer-based approach compared to PIO-based sliding mode control (PIO-SMC) and industrial standard P-controller.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121007-121007-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040663.

In this paper, the periodic tracking problem is considered for a class of continuous system with uncertainty, time-varying delay, and unknown bounded external disturbances. To be precise, in order to attenuate the unknown disturbance effectively, the equivalent-input-disturbance (EID) approach is incorporated into the developed algorithm. Then, the sufficient conditions that guarantee the asymptotic tracking performance of the system understudy are established based on the Lyapunov stability theorem. More precisely, Schur complement and free-weighting matrix approach are utilized to derive the main results. Moreover, the proposed EID-based modified repetitive controller (MRC) not only rejects the unknown external disturbance but also deals with the dead zone effect. Finally, two simulation examples are presented to verify the superiority of the proposed EID-based repetitive controller over the conventional repetitive controller.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121008-121008-13. doi:10.1115/1.4040667.

This paper examines modeling of the laminar dynamic fluid responses within hydraulic transmission lines that have a tapered shape between the inlet and the outlet. There are excellent models available for fast simulation of pressure and flow dynamics within uniform lines; however, the established models for tapered lines either cannot be implemented in the time domain, are complex to implement, or have long simulation times. The enhanced transmission line method (TLM) structure is applied in this paper since it can be computed quickly in the time domain and has shown to accurately model the effects of frequency-dependent friction. This paper presents a method of optimizing the TLM weighting functions, minimizing the error between the TLM transmission matrix terms and a numerical ordinary differential equation (ODE) solution calculated using a boundary value solver. Optimizations have shown that using the TLM to model tapered lines can provide a fair approximation when compared in the frequency domain. Two-dimensional (2D) interpolation of a look-up table is possible allowing for quick selection of the optimized parameters. Further investigation into the effects of pipe wall elasticity and its inclusion into the TLM is also performed. Also, an experiment was performed to validate high frequency harmonic peaks present in the frequency response, which yielded acceptable results when compared to the theory, and the proposed tapered TLM. This model can be used in numerous applications where line dynamic effects must be accounted for, especially with digital hydraulic switched inertance converters where high frequencies are present.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121009-121009-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040669.

Doubly curved stiffened shells are essential parts of many large-scale engineering structures, such as aerospace, automotive and marine structures. Optimization of active vibration reduction has not been properly investigated for this important group of structures. This study develops a placement methodology for such structures under motion base and external force excitations to optimize the locations of discrete piezoelectric sensor/actuator pairs and feedback gain using genetic algorithms for active vibration control. In this study, fitness and objective functions are proposed based on the maximization of sensor output voltage to optimize the locations of discrete sensors collected with actuators to attenuate several vibrations modes. The optimal control feedback gain is determined then based on the minimization of the linear quadratic index. A doubly curved composite shell stiffened by beams and bonded with discrete piezoelectric sensor/actuator pairs is modeled in this paper by first-order shear deformation theory using finite element method and Hamilton's principle. The proposed methodology is implemented first to investigate a cantilever composite shell to optimize four sensor/actuator pairs to attenuate the first six modes of vibration. The placement methodology is applied next to study a complex stiffened composite shell to optimize four sensor/actuator pairs to test the methodology effectiveness. The results of optimal sensor/actuator distribution are validated by convergence study in genetic algorithm program, ANSYS package and vibration reduction using optimal linear quadratic control scheme.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121010-121010-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040208.

Sliding mode control (SMC) is a robust and computationally efficient model-based controller design technique for highly nonlinear systems, in the presence of model and external uncertainties. However, the implementation of the conventional continuous-time SMC on digital computers is limited, due to the imprecisions caused by data sampling and quantization, and the chattering phenomena, which results in high-frequency oscillations. One effective solution to minimize the effects of data sampling and quantization imprecisions is the use of higher-order sliding modes. To this end, in this paper, a new formulation of an adaptive second-order discrete sliding mode controller (DSMC) is presented for a general class of multi-input multi-output (MIMO) uncertain nonlinear systems. Based on a Lyapunov stability argument and by invoking the new invariance principle, not only the asymptotic stability of the controller is guaranteed but also the adaptation law is derived to remove the uncertainties within the nonlinear plant dynamics. The proposed adaptive tracking controller is designed and tested in real time for a highly nonlinear control problem in spark ignition (SI) combustion engine during transient operating conditions. The simulation and real-time processor-in-the-loop (PIL) test results show that the second-order single-input single-output (SISO) DSMC can improve the tracking performances up to 90%, compared to a first-order SISO DSMC under sampling and quantization imprecisions, in the presence of modeling uncertainties. Moreover, it is observed that by converting the engine SISO controllers to a MIMO structure, the overall controller performance can be enhanced by 25%, compared to the SISO second-order DSMC, because of the dynamics coupling consideration within the MIMO DSMC formulation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121011-121011-8. doi:10.1115/1.4040665.

Manufacturing automation, especially through implementation of autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) technology, has been under intensive study due to increased productivity and reduced variations. The objective of this paper is to present an algorithm on scheduling of an AGV that traverses desired locations on a manufacturing floor. Although many algorithms have been developed to achieve this objective, most of them rely on exhaustive search, which is time-consuming. A novel two-step algorithm that generates “good,” but not necessarily optimal, solutions for relatively large data sets (≈1000 points) is proposed, taking into account time constraints. A tradeoff analysis of computational expense versus algorithm performance is discussed. The algorithm enables the AGV to find a tour, which is as good as possible within the time constraint, using which it can travel through all given coordinates before returning to the starting location or a specified end point. Compared to exhaustive search methods, this algorithm generates results within a stipulated computation time of 30 s on a laptop personal computer.

Topics: Algorithms
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121012-121012-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040818.

In a haptic teleoperation system, which interacts with unknown and hybrid environments, it is important to achieve stability and transparency. In medical usages, the utilization of knowledge on the tissues behavior in a controller design can improve the performance of the surgery in a robot-assisted telesurgery. Simultaneous interaction with hard and soft tissues makes it difficult to achieve stability and transparency. To deal with this difficulty, two controller schemes are designed. At first, a nonlinear mathematical model (inspired by the Hunt-Crossley (HC) model), which has the properties of soft and hard tissues, is combined with the slave side dynamic. In the second approach, the reaction force applied by hybrid tissues during the transition between tissues of different properties is modeled as an unknown force acting on the slave side. In a four-channel (4-CH) architecture, nonlinear adaptive controllers are designed without any knowledge about the parameters of the master, the slave robot, and the environment. For both control schemes, Lyapunov candidate functions provide a way to ensure the stability and transparency in the presence of uncertainties. The testbed comprises two Novint Falcon robots functioning as master and slave robots. Moreover, the experiments are performed on various objects, including a soft cube, a hard cube, and a phantom tissue. This paper rigorously evaluates the performances of the proposed methods, comparing them with each other and other previous schemes. Experimental and numerical results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control schemes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121013-121013-13. doi:10.1115/1.4040759.

This paper presents a nested codesign (combined plant and controller design) formulation that uses optimal design of experiments (DoE) techniques at the upper level to globally explore the plant design space, with continuous-time control parameter adaptation laws used at the lower level. The global design space exploration made possible through optimal DoE techniques makes the proposed methodology appealing for complex, nonconvex optimization problems for which legacy approaches are not effective. Furthermore, the use of continuous-time adaptation laws for control parameter optimization allows for the extension of the proposed optimization framework to the experimental realm, where control parameters can be optimized during experiments. At each full iteration, optimal DoE are used to generate a batch of plant designs within a prescribed design space. Each plant design is tested in either a simulation or experiment, during which an adaptation law is used for control parameter optimization. Two techniques are proposed for control parameter optimization at each iteration: extremum seeking (ES) and continuous-time DoE. The design space is reduced at the end of each full iteration, based on a response surface characterization and quality of fit estimate. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated for an airborne wind energy (AWE) system, where the plant parameters are the center of mass location and stabilizer area, and the control parameter is the trim pitch angle.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121014-121014-9. doi:10.1115/1.4040967.

The design of accurate model often appears as the most challenging tasks for control engineers especially focusing to the control of nonlinear system with unknown parameters or effects to be identified in parallel. For this reason, development of model-free control methods is of increasing importance. The class of model-free control approaches is defined by the nonuse of any knowledge about the underlying structure and/or related parameters of the dynamical system. Therefore, the major criteria to evaluate model-free control performance are aspects regarding robustness against unknown inputs and disturbances and related achievable tracking performance. In this contribution, a detailed comparison of three different model-free control methods (intelligent proportional-integral-derivative (iPID) using second-order sliding differentiator and two variations of model-free adaptive control (using modified compact form dynamic linearization (CFDL) as well as modified partial form) is given. Using a three-tank system benchmark, the experimental results are validated concerning the performance behavior. The results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of the methods introduced.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):121015-121015-11. doi:10.1115/1.4040968.

In order to ensure machining stability, it is essential to properly determine the dynamic properties of machine tool–workpiece system. Experimental modal analysis provides good results; however, due to high time consumption, in some cases, its use is not practically justified. Then, a receptance coupling method can be used, that allows for the synthesis of the experimental models of the machine tool components and analytical models of the workpiece. However, a significant disadvantage of this method is the need for the experimental identification of the rotational degrees-of-freedom, fully defining dynamic properties of the spindle. This paper presents an improved method based on inverse receptance coupling, which enables effective identification of the spindle dynamics with the properties of the joint. Then, a measurement procedure and results of the experimental validation are presented.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Brief

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):124501-124501-8. doi:10.1115/1.4040443.

In the current era of miniaturization for complex, ubiquitous, and energy efficient systems, micromanufacturing had become one of the most popular fields for engineering development. This paper introduces a modular robust cross-coupled controller design structure applied to a three axis micromachining system that can be extended to more axis systems and configurations. In order to develop a robust controller that can withstand the disturbances due to tool–workpiece interactions, a dynamic model of the whole system is needed. Developing control-oriented models for micromachining systems can be challenging. Using the sum of sines identification input, essential nonlinearities including the effects of assembly and slider orientation are included. Verification data show that these transfer function models represent the physical system satisfactorily while avoiding an over-fit. Using the transfer functions from the identified model, a controller structure with robust axis controllers with cross-coupled control (CCC) are developed and fine-tuned with simulations. Machining experiments are also done in order to compare the performance of the proportional-integral-derivative control design, an adaptive robust controller (ARC, both from earlier work in the literature) and the new H robust controller. According to results of experiments, the new robust controller showed the best tracking and contouring performance with improved surface quality due to reduced oscillations.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2018;140(12):124502-124502-5. doi:10.1115/1.4040664.

A novel output-feedback controller for uncertain single-input single-output (SISO) nonaffine nonlinear systems is proposed using high-order sliding mode (HOSM) observer, which is a robust exact finite-time convergent differentiator. The proposed controller utilizes (n + 1)th-order HOSM observer to cancel the uncertainty and disturbance where n is the relative degree of the controlled system. As a result, the control law has an extremely simple form of linear in the differentiator states. It is required no separate sliding-mode controller or universal approximators such as neural networks (NNs) or fuzzy logic systems (FLSs) that are adaptively tuned online. The proposed controller guarantees finite time stability of the output tracking error.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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