Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825). This special issue belongs to the section "Actuators for Robotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 13380

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Graduate Institute of Automation Technology, National Taipei University of Technology, 1, Sec. 3, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei 10608, Taiwan
Interests: numerical simulation; nonlinear control; mechatronics; precision motion control; system identification; sliding-mode control; robotics; evolutionary algorithms
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Robotic control is the system that contributes to the movement of robots. Robotics could be controlled in various ways, including using manual control, wireless control, semi-autonomously (a mix of fully automatic and wireless control), and fully autonomously (using AI to move alone, with the potential option of manual control). In the present day, as technological advancements progress, robots and its methods of control continue to develop and advance.

Actuation, such as electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, etc., is often called the muscles of robots. To ensure that all of the components of a robot are soft and flexible, actuators should provide their movements in limited spaces and change gaits fairly easily. New actuator designs, control techniques, and integration techniques for robots have been developed to satisfy sophisticated demands. Innovation in actuators is one of the most important subjects for next-generation robotics.

This Special Issue will focus on progress in actuators in robotic control in different applications. Original papers and survey papers are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Chih Jer Lin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • variable impedance actuators
  • soft actuators
  • elastic actuators
  • electric actuators
  • pneumatic artificial muscles
  • force/torque control
  • soft robotics
  • mobile robots
  • humanoid robotics
  • wearable robotic system
  • assitant robotics
  • upper limb exoskeletons
  • lower limb exoskeletons

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 10954 KiB  
Article
Using a Robot for Indoor Navigation and Door Opening Control Based on Image Processing
by Chun-Hsiang Hsu and Jih-Gau Juang
Actuators 2024, 13(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/act13020078 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 880
Abstract
This study used real-time image processing to realize obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation with an omnidirectional wheeled mobile robot (WMR). The distance between an obstacle and the WMR was obtained using a depth camera. Real-time images were used to control the robot’s movements. [...] Read more.
This study used real-time image processing to realize obstacle avoidance and indoor navigation with an omnidirectional wheeled mobile robot (WMR). The distance between an obstacle and the WMR was obtained using a depth camera. Real-time images were used to control the robot’s movements. The WMR can extract obstacle distance data from a depth map and apply fuzzy theory to avoid obstacles in indoor environments. A fuzzy control system was integrated into the control scheme. After detecting a doorknob, the robot could track the target and open the door. We used the speeded up robust features matching algorithm to recognize the WMR’s movement direction. The proposed control scheme ensures that the WMR can avoid obstacles, move to a designated location, and open a door. Like humans, the robot performs the described task only using visual sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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18 pages, 5563 KiB  
Article
Cartesian Stiffness Shaping of Compliant Robots—Incremental Learning and Optimization Based on Sequential Quadratic Programming
by Nikola Knežević, Miloš Petrović and Kosta Jovanović
Actuators 2024, 13(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/act13010032 - 13 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1251
Abstract
Emerging robotic systems with compliant characteristics, incorporating nonrigid links and/or elastic actuators, are opening new applications with advanced safety features, as well as improved performance and energy efficiency in contact tasks. However, the complexity of such systems poses challenges in modeling and control [...] Read more.
Emerging robotic systems with compliant characteristics, incorporating nonrigid links and/or elastic actuators, are opening new applications with advanced safety features, as well as improved performance and energy efficiency in contact tasks. However, the complexity of such systems poses challenges in modeling and control due to their nonlinear nature and model variations over time. To address these challenges, the paper introduces Locally Weighted Projection Regression (LWPR) and its online learning capabilities to keep the model of compliant actuators accurate and enable the model-based controls to be more robust. The approach is experimentally validated in Cartesian position and stiffness control for a 4 DoF planar robot driven by Variable Stiffness Actuators (VSA), whose real-time implementation is supported by the Sequential Least Squares Programming (SLSQP) optimization approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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18 pages, 3935 KiB  
Article
An Accurate Dynamic Model Identification Method of an Industrial Robot Based on Double-Encoder Compensation
by Xun Liu, Yan Xu, Xiaogang Song, Tuochang Wu, Lin Zhang and Yanzheng Zhao
Actuators 2023, 12(12), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12120454 - 07 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Aiming at the challenges to accurately simulate complex friction models, link dynamics, and part uncertainty for high-precision robot-based manufacturing considering mechanical deformation and resonance, this study proposes a high-precision dynamic identification method with a double encoder. Considering the influence of the dynamic model [...] Read more.
Aiming at the challenges to accurately simulate complex friction models, link dynamics, and part uncertainty for high-precision robot-based manufacturing considering mechanical deformation and resonance, this study proposes a high-precision dynamic identification method with a double encoder. Considering the influence of the dynamic model of the manipulator on its control accuracy, a three-iterative global parameter identification method based on the least square method and GMM (Gaussian Mixture Model) under the optimized excitation trajectory is proposed. Firstly, a bidirectional friction model is constructed to avoid using residual torque to reduce the identification accuracy. Secondly, the condition number of the block regression matrix is used as the optimization objective. Finally, the joint torque is theoretically identified with the weighted least squares method. A nonlinear model distinguishing between high and low speeds was established to fit the nonlinear friction of the robot. By converting the position and velocity of the motor-side encoder to the linkage side using the deceleration ratio, the deformation quantity could be calculated based on the discrepancy between theoretical and actual values. The GMM algorithm is used to compensate the uncertainty torque that was caused by model inaccuracy. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by a simulation and experiment on a 6-DoF industrial robot. Results prove that the proposed method can enhance the online torque estimation performance by up to 20%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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17 pages, 7811 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Visual Servo Control of a Robotic Manipulator for Cherry Tomato Harvesting
by Yi-Rong Li, Wei-Yuan Lien, Zhi-Hong Huang and Chun-Ta Chen
Actuators 2023, 12(6), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12060253 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1585
Abstract
This paper aims to develop a visual servo control of a robotic manipulator for cherry tomato harvesting. In the robotic manipulator, an RGB-depth camera was mounted to the end effector to acquire the poses of the target cherry tomatoes in space. The eye-in-hand-based [...] Read more.
This paper aims to develop a visual servo control of a robotic manipulator for cherry tomato harvesting. In the robotic manipulator, an RGB-depth camera was mounted to the end effector to acquire the poses of the target cherry tomatoes in space. The eye-in-hand-based visual servo controller guides the end effector to implement eye–hand coordination to harvest the target cherry tomatoes, in which a hybrid visual servo control method (HVSC) with the fuzzy dynamic control parameters was proposed by combining position-based visual servo (PBVS) control and image-based visual servo (IBVS) control for the tradeoff of both performances. In addition, a novel cutting and clipping integrated mechanism was designed to pick the target cherry tomatoes. The proposed tomato-harvesting robotic manipulator with HVSC was validated and evaluated in a laboratory testbed based on harvesting implementation. The results show that the developed robotic manipulator using HVSC has an average harvesting time of 9.40 s/per and an average harvesting success rate of 96.25% in picking cherry tomatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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25 pages, 13315 KiB  
Article
High Precision Hybrid Torque Control for 4-DOF Redundant Parallel Robots under Variable Load
by Shengqiao Hu, Houcai Liu, Huimin Kang, Puren Ouyang, Zhicheng Liu and Zhengjie Cui
Actuators 2023, 12(6), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12060232 - 05 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1119
Abstract
As regards the impact and chattering of 4-DOF redundant parallel robots that occur under high-speed variable load operating conditions, this study proposed a novel control algorithm based on torque feedforward and fuzzy computational torque feedback hybrid control, which considered both the joint friction [...] Read more.
As regards the impact and chattering of 4-DOF redundant parallel robots that occur under high-speed variable load operating conditions, this study proposed a novel control algorithm based on torque feedforward and fuzzy computational torque feedback hybrid control, which considered both the joint friction torque and the disturbance torque caused by the variable load. First of all, a modified dynamic model under variable load was established as follows: converting terminal load change to terminal centroid coordinate change, then mapping to the calculation of terminal energy, and lastly, establishing a dynamic model for each branch chain under variable load based on the Lagrange equation. Subsequently, torque feedforward was used to compensate for the friction torque and the disturbance torque caused by the variable load. Feedforward torques include friction torque and nonlinear disturbance torque under variable load. The friction torque is obtained by parameter identification based on the Stribeck friction model, while the nonlinear disturbance torque is obtained by real-time calculation based on the modified dynamic model under variable load. Finally, dynamic control of the robot under variable load was realized in combination with the fuzzy computational torque feedback control. The experimental and simulation results show that the motion accuracy of the fuzzy calculation torque feedback and torque feedforward control of the three drive joints of the robot under variable loads is 49.87%, 70.48%, and 50.37% lower than that of the fuzzy calculation torque feedback. Compared with pure torque feedback control, the speed stability of the three driving joints under fuzzy calculation torque feedback and torque feedforward control is 23.35%, 17.66%, and 25.04% higher, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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16 pages, 3087 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Storage Spaces and the Storing Route of the Pharmaceutical Logistics Robot
by Ling Zhang, Shiqing Lu, Mulin Luo and Bin Dong
Actuators 2023, 12(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12030133 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Auto drug distribution systems are used popularly to replace pharmacists when drugs are distributed in pharmacies. The Cartesian robot is usually used as the recovery mechanism. Under non-dynamic storage location conditions, generally, the selected planning route of the Cartesian robot is definite, which [...] Read more.
Auto drug distribution systems are used popularly to replace pharmacists when drugs are distributed in pharmacies. The Cartesian robot is usually used as the recovery mechanism. Under non-dynamic storage location conditions, generally, the selected planning route of the Cartesian robot is definite, which makes it difficult to optimize. In this paper, storage spaces were distributed for different drugs, and the route of storing was broken down into multiple path optimization problems for limited pick points. The path was chosen by an improved ant colony algorithm. Experiments showed that the algorithm can plan an effective storing route in the simulation and actual operation of the robot. The time spent on the route by improved ant colony algorithm sequence (IACS) was less than the time spent of route by random sequence (RS) and the time spent of route by traditional ant colony algorithm sequence (ACS); compared with RS, the optimized rate of restoring time with iacs can improve by 22.04% in simulation and 7.35% in operation. Compared with ACS, the optimized rate of restoring time with iacs was even more than 4.70% in simulation and 1.57% in operation. To the Cartesian robot, the optimization has certain guiding significance of the application on the 3D for improving quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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20 pages, 4804 KiB  
Article
Automatic Calibration of Tool Center Point for Six Degree of Freedom Robot
by Chih-Jer Lin, Hsing-Cheng Wang and Cheng-Chi Wang
Actuators 2023, 12(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12030107 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3194
Abstract
The traditional tool center point (TCP) calibration method requires the operator to use their experience to set the actual position of the tool center point. To address this lengthy workflow and low accuracy, while improving accuracy and efficiency for time-saving and non-contact calibration, [...] Read more.
The traditional tool center point (TCP) calibration method requires the operator to use their experience to set the actual position of the tool center point. To address this lengthy workflow and low accuracy, while improving accuracy and efficiency for time-saving and non-contact calibration, this paper proposes an enhanced automatic TCP calibration method based on a laser displacement sensor and implemented on a cooperative robot with six degrees of freedom. During the calibration process, the robot arm will move a certain distance along the X and Y axes and collect the information when the tool passes through the laser during the process to calculate the runout of the tool, and then continue to move a certain distance along the X and Y axes for the second height calibration. After the runout angle is calculated and calibrated by triangulation, the runout calibration is completed and the third X and Y axis displacement is performed to find out the exact position of the tool on the X and Y axes. Finally, the tool is moved to a position higher than the laser, and the laser is triggered by moving downward to obtain information to complete the whole experimental process and receive the calibrated tool center position. The whole calibration method is, firstly, verified in the virtual simulation environment and then implemented on the actual cooperative robot. The results of the proposed TCP calibration method for the case of using a pin tool can achieve a positioning deviation of 0.074 and 0.125 mm for the robot moving speeds of 20 and 40 mm/s, respectively. The orientation deviation in the x-axis are 0.089 and −0.184 degrees for the robot moving speeds of 20 and 40 mm/s, respectively. The positioning repeatability of ±0.083 mm for the moving speed of 20 mm/s is lower than ±0.101 mm for the speed of 40 mm/s. It shows that lower moving speed can obtain higher accuracy and better repeatability. This result meets the requirements of TCP calibration but also achieves the purpose of being simple, economical, and time-saving, and it takes only 60 s to complete the whole calibration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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25 pages, 14543 KiB  
Article
Design and Experimental Characterization of Artificial Neural Network Controller for a Lower Limb Robotic Exoskeleton
by Chih-Jer Lin and Ting-Yi Sie
Actuators 2023, 12(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12020055 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
This study aims to develop a lower limb robotic exoskeleton with the use of artificial neural networks for the purpose of rehabilitation. First, the PID control with iterative learning controller is used to test the proposed lower limb robotic exoskeleton robot (LLRER). Although [...] Read more.
This study aims to develop a lower limb robotic exoskeleton with the use of artificial neural networks for the purpose of rehabilitation. First, the PID control with iterative learning controller is used to test the proposed lower limb robotic exoskeleton robot (LLRER). Although the hip part using the flat brushless DC motors actuation has good tracking results, the knee part using the pneumatic actuated muscle (PAM) actuation cannot perform very well. Second, to compensate this nonlinearity of PAM actuation, the artificial neural network (ANN) feedforward control based on the inverse model trained in advance are used to compensate the nonlinearity of the PAM. Third, a particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used to optimize the PID parameters based on the ANN-feedforward architecture. The developed controller can complete the tracking of one gait cycle within 3.6 s for the knee joint. Among the three controllers, the controller of the ANN-feedforward with PID control (PSO tuned) performs the best, even when the LLRER is worn by the user and the tracking performance is still very good. The average Mean Absolute Error (MAE) of the left knee joint is 1.658 degrees and the average MAE of the right knee joint is 1.392 degrees. In the rehabilitation tests, the controller of ANN-feedforward with PID control is found to be suitable and its versatility for different walking gaits is verified during human tests. The establishment of its inverse model does not need to use complex mathematical formulas and parameters for modeling. Moreover, this study introduces the PSO to search for the optimal parameters of the PID. The architecture diagram and the control signal given by the ANN compensation with the PID control can reduce the error very well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Robotic Control: Volume II)
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