and Arimoto  considered an energy Lyapunov function consisting of the total kinetic energy and a desired potential function to generate a class of position regulators for robot manipulators. This procedure received after several extensions and improvements, specially for the tracking control problem. In the work of Santibáñez and Kelly  is presented an interesting historical review as well as theoretical justifications of the natural Lyapunov function—based approach to design full state regulators and tracking controllers for robot manipulators. Motivated by the practical situation that the velocity measurement given by tachometers and other physical sensors can be contaminated by noise, the output feedback control of manipulators consists in designing a control algorithm by using only joint position measurements, so that the error between the desired position (constant or time—varying) and the position of the system goes asymptotically to zero for a set of initial conditions. A survey of local solutions proposed before 1996 can be found in . For recent solutions, see e.g. , and reference therein. As far as we know, a Lyapunov function—based procedure to generate a class of output feedback tracking controllers for robot manipulators has not been proposed. In this respect, the purpose of this work is to present a reexamination and new theory. More precisely, the contributions of this work are: • A natural Lyapunov function—based framework to design output feedback control laws is proposed, which complements the results concerning the case of manipulator tracking control assuming full state measurements
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