Distributed Sensory-based Control of a Series Manipulator

C. Ward (West Indies)


Distributed sensory-based control


We have developed a sensory-based controller that can con trol the orientation of a single link in a tentacle-like manip ulator without requiring communication with similar con trollers for the other links of the manipulator. The manip ulator is to be used as a platform for investigating various approaches to intelligent distributed control. This particu lar controller design was implemented as a proof of con cept. Other solutions may now be compared to this one as a means of evaluation. The simulated manipulator consists of a series of actuated universal joints. Each universal joint has its own controller and uses sensory input about the mo tion and orientation of the supported link to provide closed loop control of the orientation of this link with respect to a fixed frame of reference. The aim is to get the manipu lator to assume a specified configuration through indepen dent control of the orientation of each link. The details and limitations of the resulting controller are discussed, as well as the challenges that the platform still present.

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