Stable Control of Force, Position, and Stiffness for Robot Joints Powered via Pneumatic Muscles
© 2019 IEEE. This paper proposes a novel controller framework for antagonistically driven pneumatic artificial muscle (PAM) actuators. The proposed controller can be stably configured in both torque-stiffness control and position-stiffness control modes. Three contributions are sequentially presented in constructing the framework: 1) A PAM force feedback controller with guaranteed stability is synthesized in a way so as to contend with nonlinear PAM characteristics; 2) a mathematical tool is developed to compute reference PAM forces, for a given set of desired joint torque and joint stiffness inputs; and 3) on top of the torque controller, a position control scheme is implemented and its stability analysis is given in the sense of Lyapunov. In order to test the controller framework, an extensive set of experiments are conducted using an actuator that is constructed using two antagonistically coupled PAMs. As a result, the actuator exhibits satisfactory tracking performances concerning both torque-stiffness control and position-stiffness control modes.