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Energy-efficient and high-precision control of hydraulic robots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-193
Number of pages18
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In addition to high-precision closed-loop control performance, energy efficiency is another vital characteristic in field-robotic hydraulic systems as energy source(s) must be carried on board in limited space. This study proposes an energy-efficient and high-precision closed-loop controller for the highly nonlinear hydraulic robotic manipulators. The proposed method is twofold: 1) A possibility for energy consumption reduction is realized by using a separate meter-in separate meter-out (SMISMO) control set-up, enabling an independent metering (pressure control) of each chamber in hydraulic actuators. 2) A novel subsystem-dynamics-based and modular controller is designed for the system actuators, and it is integrated to the previously designed state-of-the-art controller for multiple degrees-of-freedom (n-DOF) manipulators. Stability of the overall controller is rigorously proven. The comparative experiments with a three-DOF redundant hydraulic robotic manipulator (with a payload of 475 kg) demonstrate that: 1) It is possible to design the triple objective of high-precision piston position, piston force and chamber pressure trackings for the hydraulic actuators. 2) In relation to the previous SMISMO-control methods, unprecedented motion and chamber pressure tracking performances are reported. 3) In comparison to the state-of-the-art motion tracking controller with a conventional energy-inefficient servovalve control, the actuators’ energy consumption is reduced by 45% without noticeable motion control (position-tracking) deterioration.


  • Energy efficiency, Hydraulic robots, Independent metering, Nonlinear control, SMISMO control, Stability analysis

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