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A new control algorithm is developed for manipulators using the theory of variable structure systems. The control is designed so that a new type of state space trajectories called sliding mode exists. Due to delays, neglected small time constants, and other idealizations, ideal sliding modes as predicted by the theory do not exist. We have verified through hybrid simulation that trajectories which are close to ideal sliding modes exist when the controller is designed according to theory. To illustrate the design procedures, a two-joint manipulator is considered.