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Guidance of a Robotic Off-Road Tractor-Trailer System Using Model Predictive Control

[+] Author Affiliations
James T. Salmon, David M. Bevly, John Y. Hung

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Paper No. DSCC2013-3858, pp. V003T47A001; 6 pages
  • ASME 2013 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 3: Nonlinear Estimation and Control; Optimization and Optimal Control; Piezoelectric Actuation and Nanoscale Control; Robotics and Manipulators; Sensing; System Identification (Estimation for Automotive Applications, Modeling, Therapeutic Control in Bio-Systems); Variable Structure/Sliding-Mode Control; Vehicles and Human Robotics; Vehicle Dynamics and Control; Vehicle Path Planning and Collision Avoidance; Vibrational and Mechanical Systems; Wind Energy Systems and Control
  • Palo Alto, California, USA, October 21–23, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5614-7
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


This paper presents a nonlinear Model Predictive Control approach to controlling a tractor-trailer system. Using a nonlinear tractor-trailer model, the controller determines the optimal steer angle, based on the trailer’s measured position and heading, as well as information about the path geometry in front of it. Then, the computer determines the amount of voltage to apply to the steering wheel motor to achieve the necessary steer angle. In the simulation study, the controller algorithm is capable of guiding a 2-1/2 meter long trailer around a 5-meter radius turn, towed by a four wheel drive off-road utility vehicle, with a maximum error of 8.5 centimeters.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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