Modelling and control for position-controlled Modular Robot Manipulators
Modular or re-configurable robots have been studied and developed over two decades. Most researches focus on mechatronic interfaces and re-configurable capabilities. However, less attention has been paid to dynamics and control. Consequently, the control performance of a modular robot has never been comparable with an integrated robot, due to the lack of proper handling of the dynamic interactions among the modules. In this paper, the application of the virtual decomposition control to modular robot manipulators is discussed. A high-speed databus with a data rate of 100 Mbps is used for necessary information exchange among the modules. The dynamics based control is fully handled by the local embedded controllers, whereas the host computer handles the kinematics related computation. The stability of the entire robot is rigorously guaranteed. This research aims at giving the modular robots the comparable control performance as the integrated robots, while keeping the fundamental feasibilities such as low cost for mass production, high flexibility, and easy use and expansion.