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research-article

Controlling an underactuated two-wheeled mobile robot: a constraint-following approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Hui Yin

Ph.D. candidate, State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, P.R. China
yinhui233@126.com

Ye-Hwa Chen

Professor, The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
yehwa.chen@me.gatech.edu

Dejie Yu

Professor, State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, P.R. China
djyu@hnu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043112 History: Received April 09, 2018; Revised September 25, 2018

Abstract

Controlling underactuated systems is a challenging problem in control engineering. This paper presents a novel constraint-following approach for control design of an underactuated two-wheeled mobile robot (2 WMR), which has two degrees-of-freedom (DOF) to be controlled but only one actuator. The control goal is to drive the 2 WMR to follow a set of constraints, which may be holonomic or nonholonomic constraints. The constraint is considered in a more general form than previous studies on constraint-following control (hence including a wider range of constraints). No auxiliary variables or pseudo variables are required for the control design. The proposed control only uses physical variables. We show that the proposed control is able to deal with both holonomic and nonholonomic constraints by forcing the constraint-following error to converge to zero, even if the system is not initially on the constraint manifold. Using this control design, we investigate two cases regarding different constraints on the 2 WMR motion, one for a holonomic constraint and the other for a nonholonomic constraint. Simulation results show that the proposed control is able to drive the 2 WMR to follow the constraints in both cases. Furthermore, the standard LQR control is applied as a comparison in the simulations, which reflects the advantage of the proposed control.

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