A passivity approach to controller-observer design for robots


Passivity-based control methods for robots, which achieve the control objective by reshaping the robot system's natural energy via state feedback, have, from a practical point of view, some very attractive properties. However, the poor quality of velocity measurements may significantly deteriorate the control performance of these methods. In this paper the authors propose a design strategy that utilizes the passivity concept in order to develop combined controller-observer systems for robot motion control using position measurements only. To this end, first a desired energy function for the closed-loop system is introduced, and next the controller-observer combination is constructed such that the closed-loop system matches this energy function, whereas damping is included in the controller- observer system to assure asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system. A key point in this design strategy is a fine tuning of the controller and observer structure to each other, which provides solutions to the output-feedback robot control problem that are conceptually simple and easily implementable in industrial robot applications. Experimental tests on a two-DOF manipulator system illustrate that the proposed controller-observer systems enable the achievement of higher performance levels compared to the frequently used practice of numerical position differentiation for obtaining a velocity estimat

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