Modeling and Control of Flexible Manipulators
Abstract: Industrial robot manipulators are general-purpose machines used for industrial automation in order to increase productivity, flexibility, and product quality. Other reasons for using industrial robots are cost saving, and elimination of hazardous and unpleasant work. Robot motion control is a key competence for robot manufacturers, and the current development is focused on increasing the robot performance, reducing the robot cost, improving safety, and introducing new functionalities. Therefore, there is a need to continuously improve the mathematical models and control methods in order to fulfil conflicting requirements, such as increased performance of a weight-reduced robot, with lower mechanical stiffness and more complicated vibration modes. One reason for this development of the robot mechanical structure is of course cost-reduction, but other benefits are also obtained, such as lower environmental impact, lower power consumption, improved dexterity, and higher safety.This thesis deals with different aspects of modeling and control of flexible, i.e., elastic, manipulators. For an accurate description of a modern industrial manipulator, this thesis shows that the traditional flexible joint model, described in literature, is not sufficient. An improved model where the elasticity is described by a number of localized multidimensional spring-damper pairs is therefore proposed. This model is called the extended flexible joint model. The main contributions of this work are the design and analysis of identification methods, and of inverse dynamics control methods, for the extended flexible joint model.The proposed identification method is a frequency-domain non-linear gray-box method, which is evaluated by the identification of a modern six-axes robot manipulator. The identified model gives a good description of the global behavior of this robot.The inverse dynamics problem is discussed, and a solution methodology is proposed. This methodology is based on the solution of a differential algebraic equation (DAE). The inverse dynamics solution is then used for feedforward control of both a simulated manipulator and of a real robot manipulator.The last part of this work concerns feedback control. First, a model-based nonlinear feedback control (feedback linearization) is evaluated and compared to a model-based feedforward control algorithm. Finally, two benchmark problems for robust feedback control of a flexible manipulator are presented and some proposed solutions are analyzed.
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