Investigation of Controller Design for Small Robot Arms
Brian Armknecht and David Malohn
Advisor: Dr. Gary Dempsey
The focus of this investigation is to examine various controllers for
a small robot arm system manufactured by Quanser Consulting. The system
consists of a DC motor-driven gear train, robot arm, and potentiometer
used to determine position. Two cases were considered, including the horizontal
plane level-arm system, and the more complicated inverted arm configuration
in which the arm moves in a vertical plane. After determining the respective
mathematical models of the systems and designing and constructing protection
circuitry for the equipment, frequency and time domain data was collected.
Experimental results were in agreement with these mathematical models.
Proportional and proportional-derivative controllers were designed, simulated,
implemented, and observed for the level-arm system. Several non-linearities
surfaced in this work, prompting more data collection, analysis, and design
adaptation. Similar steps were taken in examining the inverted-arm case,
where a highly non-linear system was coupled with the unexpected non-linear
properties encountered with the level-arm system. Proportional and proportional-integrator-derivative
controllers were simulated and constructed for the system, then examined
along with feed-forward compensation and other design techniques.
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