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Practical Implementation of a Dead Zone Inverse on a Hydraulic Wrist

[+] Author Affiliations
Joel D. Fortgang, Lynnane E. George, Wayne J. Book

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. IMECE2002-39351, pp. 149-155; 7 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Fluid Power Systems and Technology
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluid Power Systems and Technology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3631-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


This paper presents practical aspects of implementing a dead zone inverse on a hydraulic wrist. A dead zone occurs over a range of small input values for which a system does not respond. It was desirable to use the most straightforward method available to achieve improved system performance while requiring the least amount of modification to the controller. Thus a fixed parameter dead zone inverse (DZI) was added to an existing proportional-integral (PI) controller. First, the parameters of the dead zone were characterized from open loop testing. These parameters are the break points, or input values between which the system does not respond at all, and the slope of the system’s response just outside the break points. The DZI augments the PI signal input to the plant, effectively adding or subtracting a constant equal to the size of the dead zone break points and scaling the input by its slope. Simulations predicted perfect system tracking, but implementation on the hardware revealed several practical issues. First, the dead zone slope parameters vary throughout the robot’s workspace. Overestimation can lead to non-ideal system performance, but the more extreme problem is underestimation, which effectively increases control loop gain and can lead to system instability. However, performance is not affected significantly unless these parameters are off by an order of magnitude. Overall the system performance is relatively robust to modeling errors in the slope parameters. The second issue is that noise can be magnified by the dead zone inverse and cause chattering. This problem was very noticeable in the wrist when the estimated dead zone break points were used in the DZI. This problem can be eliminated by reducing the dead zone break points or reintroducing a small artificial dead zone back into the control loop to envelope the expected noise level. The requirements for successful implementation of the DZI were found to be a basic characterization of the dead zone and an understanding of practical system issues that can be accentuated by its use. The effectiveness of the technique was tested through simulations and experiments on the wrist.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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