A Decentralized Force Controller Synthesis for Compliant Robots Driven by Series Elastic Actuators
This paper deals with the decentralized force control problem of compliant robots driven by Series Elastic Actuators (SEAs). The decentralized force control problem of a compliant robot manipulator is transformed into the robust position control problem of a servo system by using Hooke's law and lumping the nonlinear dynamics and unknown disturbances of the robot manipulator into a fictitious disturbance variable. In order to precisely follow the reference force trajectories at joint space, i.e., the position trajectories of the servo systems, the robust controller is synthesized by using Disturbance Observer (DOb) and Sliding Mode Control (SMC). Although the robust force controller can be synthesized by using only SMC, the force control signal may suffer from high control signal chattering as the force reference input is increased. In addition to improving the robustness of force control, DOb significantly suppresses the discontinuous control signal chattering by allowing to decrease the SMC gain. When the proposed decentralized robust force controller is implemented, the compliant robot can precisely track desired force trajectories and safely contact to different environments. The validity of the proposed force controller is verified by giving the simulation results of a redundant robot manipulator.