This paper presents an energetically derived control methodology to specify and regulate the oscillatory motion of a pneumatic hopping robot. An ideal lossless pneumatic actuation system with an inertia is shown to represent an oscillator with a stiffness, and hence frequency, related to the equilibrium pressures in the actuator. Following from an analysis of the conservative energy storage elements in the system, a control methodology is derived to sustain a specified frequency of oscillation in the presence of energy dissipation. The basic control strategy is to control the pressure in the upper chamber of the pneumatic cylinder to specify the contact time of the piston, while controlling the total conservative energy stored in the system to specify the flight time and corresponding flight height of the cylinder. The control strategy takes advantage of the natural passive dynamics of the upper chamber to provide much of the required actuation forces and natural stiffness, while the remaining forces needed to overcome the energy dissipation present in a nonideal system with losses are provided by a nonlinear control law for the charging and discharging of the lower chamber of the cylinder. Efficient hopping motion, relative to a traditional nonconservative actuator, is achieved by allowing the energy storing capability of a pneumatic actuator to store and return energy to the system at a controlled specifiable frequency. The control methodology is demonstrated through simulation and experimental results to provide accurate and repeatable hopping motion for pneumatically actuated robots in the presence of dissipative forces.
An Energetic Control Methodology for Exploiting the Passive Dynamics of Pneumatically Actuated Hopping
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Zhu, Y., and Barth, E. J. (June 4, 2008). "An Energetic Control Methodology for Exploiting the Passive Dynamics of Pneumatically Actuated Hopping." ASME. J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. July 2008; 130(4): 041004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2907355
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