Publication Details

Xiang, X., Mutlu, R., Alici, G. & Li, W. (2014). Control of conducting polymer actuators without physical feedback: Simulated feedback control approach with particle swarm optimization. Smart Materials and Structures, 23 (3), 035014-1-035014-12.


Conducting polymer actuators have shown significant potential in articulating micro instruments, manipulation devices, and robotics. However, implementing a feedback control strategy to enhance their positioning ability and accuracy in any application requires a feedback sensor, which is extremely large in size compared to the size of the actuators. Therefore, this paper proposes a new sensorless control scheme without the use of a position feedback sensor. With the help of the system identification technique and particle swarm optimization, the control scheme, which we call the simulated feedback control system, showed a satisfactory command tracking performance for the conducting polymer actuator's step and dynamic displacement responses, especially under a disturbance, without needing a physical feedback loop, but using a simulated feedback loop. The primary contribution of this study is to propose and experimentally evaluate the simulated feedback control scheme for a class of the conducting polymer actuators known as tri-layer polymer actuators, which can operate both in dry and wet media. This control approach can also be extended to other smart actuators or systems, for which the feedback control based on external sensing is impractical.

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