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Robot Joint Control System

A robot joint controller is a type of feedback control system which is an old and well understood technique. We will learn how to assemble the various mechatronic components such as motors, gearboxes, sensors, electronics and embedded computing in a feedback configuration to implement a robot joint controller.  


All mechanical systems exhibit friction and we learn about two broad classes of friction: linear and non-linear.  


Electric motors are typically quite weak, they produce a low torque, so it’s very common to add a reduction gearbox.  

Modelling an Electric Motor

We can model a DC motor as a resistor and a voltage source, and then understand the implications of controlling either the voltage or current supplied to the motor. We also learn about common methods for motor control such as the H-bridge driver and pulse width modulation.  


Actuators are the components that actually move the robot’s joint. So let’s look at a few different actuation technologies that are used in robots.  

Introduction to Robot Joint Control

We will learn about how we make the the robot joints move to the angles or positions that are required in order to achieve the desired end-effector motion. This is the job of the robot’s joint controller and in this lecture we will learn how this works. This journey will take us in to the realms of control theory.  

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