Tele-operated hydraulic underwater manipulators are commonly used to perform remote underwater intervention tasks such as weld inspection or mating of connectors. Automation of these tasks to use tele-assistance requires a suitable hybrid position!force control scheme, to specify simultaneously the robot motion and contact forces. Classical linear control does not allow for the highly non-linear and time varying robot dynamics in this situation. Adequate control performance requires more advanced controllers. This paper presents and compares two different advanced hybrid control algorithms. The first is based on a modified Variable Structure Control ( VSCHF) with a virtual environment, and the second uses a multivariable self-tuning adaptive controller. A direct comparison of the two proposed control schemes is performed in simulation, using a model of the dynamics of a hydraulic underwater manipulator (a Slingsby TA9) in contact with a surface. These comparisons look at the performance of the controllers under a wide variety of operating conditions, including different environment stiffnesses,: positions of the robot and dynamic parameters. Conclusions are drawn based on the relative performance of each controller and on the practicalities of the proposed schemes.
|Number of pages
|Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control
|Published - 1997