Simulation of robot manipulator control strategies
The high capital cost of robots prohibit their economic application. One method of making their application more economic is to increase their operating speed. This can be done in a number of ways e.g. redesign of robot geometry, improving actuators and improving control system design. In this thesis the control system design is considered. It is identified in the literature review that two aspects in relation to robot control system design have not been addressed in any great detail by previous researchers. These are: how significant are the coupling terms in the dynamic equations of the robot and what is the effect of the coupling terms on the performance of a number of typical independent axis control schemes?. The work in this thesis addresses these two questions in detail. A program was designed to automatically calculate the path and trajectory and to calculate the significance of the coupling terms in an example application of a robot manipulator tracking a part on a moving conveyor. The inertial and velocity coupling terms have been shown to be of significance when the manipulator was considered to be directly driven. A simulation of the robot manipulator following the planned trajectory has been established in order to assess the performance of the independent axis control strategies. The inertial coupling was shown to reinforce the control torque at the corner points of the trajectory, where there was an abrupt demand in acceleration in each axis but of opposite sign. This reduced the tracking error however, this effect was not controllable. A second effect was due to the velocity coupling terms. At high trajectory speeds it was shown, by means of a root locus analysis, that the velocity coupling terms caused the system to become unstable.