Sensor Fusion and Control Applied to Industrial Manipulators

Detta är en avhandling från Linköping University Electronic Press

Sammanfattning: One of the main tasks for an industrial robot is to move the end-effector in a predefined path with a specified velocity and acceleration. Different applications have different requirements of the performance. For some applications it is essential that the tracking error is extremely small, whereas other applications require a time optimal tracking. Independent of the application, the controller is a crucial part of the robot system. The most common controller configuration uses only measurements of the motor angular positions and velocities, instead of the position and velocity of the end-effector. The development of new cost optimised robots has introduced unwanted flexibilities in the joints and the links. The consequence is that it is no longer possible to get the desired performance and robustness by only measuring the motor angular positions. This thesis investigates if it is possible to estimate the end-effector position using Bayesian estimation methods for state estimation, here represented by the extended Kalman filter and the particle filter. The arm-side information is provided by an accelerometer mounted at the end-effector. The measurements consist of the motor angular positions and the acceleration of the end-effector. In a simulation study on a realistic flexible industrial robot, the angular position performance is shown to be close to the fundamental Cramér-Rao lower bound. The methods are also verified in experiments on an ABB IRB4600 robot, where the dynamic performance of the position for the end-effector is significantly improved. There is no significant difference in performance between the different methods. Instead, execution time, model complexities and implementation issues have to be considered when choosing the method. The estimation performance depends strongly on the tuning of the filters and the accuracy of the models that are used. Therefore, a method for estimating the process noise covariance matrix is proposed. Moreover, sampling methods are analysed and a low-complexity analytical solution for the continuous-time update in the Kalman filter, that does not involve oversampling, is proposed. The thesis also investigates two types of control problems. First, the norm-optimal iterative learning control (ILC) algorithm for linear systems is extended to an estimation-based norm-optimal ILC algorithm where the controlled variables are not directly available as measurements. The algorithm can also be applied to non-linear systems. The objective function in the optimisation problem is modified to incorporate not only the mean value of the estimated variable, but also information about the uncertainty of the estimate. Second, H? controllers are designed and analysed on a linear four-mass flexible joint model. It is shown that the control performance can be increased, without adding new measurements, compared to previous controllers. Measuring the end-effector acceleration increases the control performance even more. A non-linear model has to be used to describe the behaviour of a real flexible joint. An H?-synthesis method for control of a flexible joint, with non-linear spring characteristic, is therefore proposed.