In a serial-link manipulator arm each joint has to support all the links between itself and the end of the robot. We introduce the recursive Newton-Euler algorithm which allows us to compute the joint torques given the robot joint positions, velocities and accelerations and the link inertial parameters.
We start by considering the effect of gravity acting on a robot arm, and how the torque exerted will disturb the position of the robot controller leading to a steady state error. Then we discuss a number of strategies to reduce this error.
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.
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.
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.