Publication Details

Wang, X., Alici, G. & Tan, X. (2014). Modeling and inverse feedforward control for conducting polymer actuators with hysteresis. Smart Materials and Structures, 23 (2), 025015-025023.


Conducting polymer actuators are biocompatible with a small footprint, and operate in air or liquid media under low actuation voltages. This makes them excellent actuators for macro- and micro-manipulation devices, however, their positioning ability or accuracy is adversely affected by their hysteresis non-linearity under open-loop control strategies. In this paper, we establish a hysteresis model for conducting polymer actuators, based on a rate-independent hysteresis model known as the Duhem model. The hysteresis model is experimentally identified and integrated with the linear dynamics of the actuator. This combined model is inverted to control the displacement of the tri-layer actuators considered in this study, without using any external feedback. The inversion requires an inverse hysteresis model which was experimentally identified using an inverse neural network model. Experimental results show that the position tracking errors are reduced by more than 50% when the hysteresis inverse model is incorporated into an inversion-based feedforward controller, indicating the potential of the proposed method in enabling wider use of such smart actuators.

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