Robust Control of a McKibben Artificial Muscle Actuator using a Sliding Mode Control with a Smith Predictor

B. Tondu, R. Lezama-Morales, and A. Khelassi (France)


McKibben artificial muscle, robust control, gravity compensation


Artificial muscles are to be used in the future to actuate anthropomorphic robot limbs. Their direct drive actuation mode, as well as the present-day difficulty of modelling them accurately, makes their control difficult. In this paper it is proposed to test the feasibility of an original control scheme combining a sliding mode with a Smith predictor, so as to control a robot actuator made of two antagonistic McKibben pneumatic artificial muscles. This hybrid controller is intended to give a global robustness to the robot joint, both in relation to inertial variations and to gravity perturbations. Experimental results of the method applied to the elbow joint of a 7R anthropomorphic upper limb robot are also reported.

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