Full-state tracking control for flexible joint robots with singular perturbation techniques

Joonyoung Kim, Elizabeth A. Croft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a practical method to realize multivariable full-state tracking control for industrial robots with elastic joints. Unlike existing methods, the proposed method does not require high-order derivatives of the link states such as acceleration and jerk. Therefore, the proposed method does not suffer from chatter related to inaccurate estimation of high-order derivatives. The method is derived by adopting a singular perturbation technique. A decoupled error dynamics is achieved by two decoupling control loops: A fast loop that controls the deflection error and a slow loop for tracking control on the link side. Our stability analysis based on a linear system shows that the proposed control system is stable as long as the fast system is at least twice as fast as the slow system. A practical method to select the gain is also presented such that the closed-loop poles are placed at the desired locations. In simulation, we compare the proposed method with feedback linearization. The results indicate that in an ideal scenario the proposed method can obtain a similar performance as feedback linearization. However, the proposed method obtains a superior performance in a realistic scenario. A real-world experiment with a six degree-of-freedom commercial industrial robot is carried out to further validate our approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8065027
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Flexible joints
  • Industrial robot
  • Motion control
  • Singular perturbation method

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