Underactuation is a core challenge associated with controlling soft and continuum robots, which possess theoretically infinite degrees of freedom, but few actuators. However, m actuators may still be used to control a dynamic soft robot in an m-dimensional output task space. In this paper we develop a task-space control approach for planar continuum robots that is robust to modeling error and requires very little sensor information. The controller is based on a highly underactuated discrete rod mechanics model in maximal coordinates and does not require conversion to a classical robot dynamics model form. This promotes straightforward control design, implementation and efficiency. We perform input-output feedback linearization on this model, apply sliding mode control to increase robustness, and formulate an observer to estimate the full state from sparse output measurements. Simulation results show exact task-space reference tracking behavior can be achieved even in the presence of significant modeling error, inaccurate initial conditions, and output-only sensing.
This content will become publicly available on April 4, 2023
Tractable and Intuitive Dynamic Model for Soft Robots via the Recursive Newton-Euler Algorithm
Because of the complex nature of soft robots, formulating dynamic models that are simple, efficient, and sufficiently accurate for simulation or control is a difficult task. This paper introduces an algorithm based on a recursive Newton-Euler (RNE) approach that enables an accurate and tractable lumped parameter dynamic model. This model scales linearly in computational complexity with the number of discrete segments. We validate this model by comparing it to actual hardware data from a three-joint continuum soft robot (with six degrees of freedom represented in a constant curvature kinematic model). The results show that this RNE-based model can be computed faster than real-time. We also show that with minimal system identification, a simulation performed using the dynamic model matches the real robot data with a median error of 3.15 degrees.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft)
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 416 to 422
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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