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It is known that limitations of human accuracy in manual manipulation hinder the quality of work performed by human operators of manual control systems. Indeed, movements of operators are apt to cause undesirable vibrations in manual control systems. In this paper, we propose a new operator-support control scheme for suppressing harmful oscillatory motions in such systems without disturbing human operator's manipulation. The proposed scheme is based on the fact that steady-state blocking zeros of a feedback controller do not affect the steady-state control input. A finite-dimensional feedback controller with steady-state blocking zeros, called a washout controller in this paper, plays the central role in support for operator's manipulation. However, the dynamics of a manual control system may become different significantly from its initial model used for the design of an initial washout controller when it is applied to the manual control system. Such difference can result in poor performance of operator-support control. In order to improve it, an iterative procedure is presented for redesign of washout controllers based on closed-loop subspace identification. Closed-loop identification is performed to refine the model for the control design, and then a more sophisticated washout controller is obtained using the identified model. The effectiveness of the proposed scheme is demonstrated by an experiment on manual control of an inverted pendulum.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008