Contact Control for Advanced Applications of Light Weight Arms

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Book, Wayne J.
Kwon, Dong-Soo
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Many applications of robotic and teleoperated manipulator arms require operation in contact and noncontact regimes. This paper deals with both regimes and the transition between them with special attention given to problems of flexibility in the links and drives. This is referred to as contact control. Inverse dynamics is used to plan the tip motion of the flexible link so that the free motion can stop very near the contact surface without collision due to overshoot. Contact mus occur at a very low speed since the high frequency impact forces are too sudden to be affected by any feedback generated torques applied to a joint at the other end of the link. The effects of approach velocity and surface properties are discussed. Force tracking is implemented by commands to the deflection states of the link and the contact force. This enable a natural transition between tip position and tip force control that is not possible when the arm is treated as rigid. The effects of feedback gain, force trajectory, and desired final force level are of particular interest and are studied. Experimental results are presented on a one-link arm and the system performance in the overall contact task is analyzed. Extension to multi-link cases with potential applications are discussed.
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