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On the Passivity-Based Impedance Control of Flexible Joint Robots

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4 Author(s)
Ott, C. ; Inst. of Robot. & Mechatron., Wessling ; Albu-Schaffer, A. ; Kugi, A. ; Hirzinger, G.

In this paper, a novel type of impedance controllers for flexible joint robots is proposed. As a target impedance, a desired stiffness and damping are considered without inertia shaping. For this problem, two controllers of different complexity are proposed. Both have a cascaded structure with an inner torque feedback loop and an outer impedance controller. For the torque feedback, a physical interpretation as a scaling of the motor inertia is given, which allows to incorporate the torque feedback into a passivity-based analysis. The outer impedance control law is then designed differently for the two controllers. In the first approach, the stiffness and damping terms and the gravity compensation term are designed separately. This outer control loop uses only the motor position and velocity, but no noncollocated feedback of the joint torques or link side positions. In combination with the physical interpretation of torque feedback, this allows us to give a proof of the asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system based on the passivity properties of the system. The second control law is a refinement of this approach, in which the gravity compensation and the stiffness implementation are designed in a combined way. Thereby, a desired static stiffness relationship is obtained exactly. Additionally, some extensions of the controller to viscoelastic joints and to Cartesian impedance control are given. Finally, some experiments with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) lightweight robots verify the developed controllers and show the efficiency of the proposed control approach.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 2 )