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Inertial Sensor-Based State Estimation of Flexible Links Subject to Bending and Torsion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 14th IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications, MESA 2018
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781538646434
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 2 Jul 20184 Jul 2018


ConferenceIEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications


In this study, we propose an observer design based on inertial sensors and the finite element (FE) method to estimate the flexural states of a long-reach and highly flexible manipulator in a 3D plane of motion. Vertical and lateral dynamic bendings are considered, along with deformation due to torsion. The aim is to achieve accurate end-point positioning by using the estimated flexural degrees-of-freedom, which are formulated using an FE model. The states are reconstructed based on angular velocity measurements, which are obtained from strap-on inertial sensors placed along the flexible link. For validation, a motion-capture setup consisting of three OptiTrack cameras is used. The experiments are conducted on a hydraulic manipulator that has a single 4.5-m long flexible link with a tip mass. The validation is carried out by comparing the estimates to the OptiTrack reference measurements. The results demonstrate that this method provides satisfactory end-point positioning, while also being convenient for use in heavy-duty mobile manipulators.


  • finite element method, inertial sensors, state estimation

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