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The modeling and the control of flexible link robots have received a great deal of attention in the last decades due to the wide prospective industrial and space applications of ultra-light and high-speed mechanisms. This paper introduces a general and practical procedure for the design of effective control schemes for the position and vibration control of flexible links mechanisms. In particular, an innovative controller based on MPC (Model-based Predictive Control) is proposed. So far the MPC controllers have been employed almost exclusively in slow industrial processes. Nevertheless, this work shows that the MPC approach can be successfully adapted to plants whose dynamics are both nonlinear and fast changing as well. The performances of this approach will be evaluated for a single link mechanism and compared to those obtained with a standard PID position controller.
Date of Conference: 14-17 April 2009