Experimental Testing of a Decentralized Model Reference Adaptive Controller for a Mobile Robot

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Virginia Tech

Adaptive controllers allow robots to perform a wide variety of tasks, but the extensive computations required have generated an interest in developing decentralized adaptive controllers. Horner has designed an adaptive controller for a four-degree-of-freedom mobile robot and tested it through simulations. The study described in this thesis uses the techniques described by Horner to design and test a decentralized model reference adaptive controller (DMRAC) for a physical four-degree-of-freedom mobile robot. The study revealed several difficulties in implementing this design. Most notably, the robot available for the research did not allow for the measurement of joint velocity, so it was necessary to estimate the velocity as the derivative of the position measurement. The noise created by this estimation made completion of testing impossible. Future research should be performed on a robot that provides joint velocity measurement. Alternatively, a study could include state estimation as part of the controller, thus reducing and possibly eliminating the need for velocity measurement.

Decentralized Control, Experimental Testing, Model Reference Adaptive Control, Mobile Robots, Robotic Manipulators