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A composite controller is designed based on singular perturbation model of one-link flexible manipulators with external disturbances and parameters uncertainties, where a new adaptive sliding mode controller with H∞ tracking performance is designed for the slow subsystem, the adaptive algorithm is used to estimate the unknown perturbation part of system parameters, then, the H∞ tracking design technique and the adaptive sliding mode control scheme are combined to derive the final control law. An optimal controller is designed to stabilize the fast subsystem. Numerical simulation results confirm that the proposed controller can not only attenuate effectively the effect of system uncertainties on tracking error, but also can reduce significantly chattering inherent in conventional sliding mode control. Also, tip vibration can be suppressed effectively.