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Control Design for a Hand Tremor Suppression Pen

[+] Author Affiliations
Che Ou, Andrew Gouldstone, Beverly Kris Jaeger, Rifat Sipahi

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Paper No. DSCC2015-9962, pp. V002T36A006; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Diagnostics and Detection; Drilling; Dynamics and Control of Wind Energy Systems; Energy Harvesting; Estimation and Identification; Flexible and Smart Structure Control; Fuels Cells/Energy Storage; Human Robot Interaction; HVAC Building Energy Management; Industrial Applications; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Manufacturing; Mechatronics; Modelling and Validation; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, October 28–30, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5725-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Active feedback control is utilized in this study in order to regulate pen-tip deviations in a novel pen design with the aim to minimize the effects of hand tremors on handwriting. The pen comprises a pendulum-like pen-rod that swings inside a tubular shaped pen casing, and between the pen and the casing, certain compliance and active actuation is considered. Since by the nature of the system dynamics, arbitrary pole placement is not possible in the design of the controller, a nonlinear optimization scheme is constructed to design the controller gains. With these gains, pen-tip deviations are minimized (≈ −47 dB) when the pen casing is subjected tremor-induced cyclic disturbances, and pen-tip response against impulsive perturbations is satisfactorily improved (settling time ≈ 1 sec) while keeping the controller effort around 2 N. Simulation studies are presented comparing the efficacy of the proposed controller with respect to a passively controlled pen, along with trade-offs within the design parameter space.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Design



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