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Fuzzy Control of the ElectroHydraulic Actuator

by Sampson, Eric Bowyer

Abstract (Summary)
Industrial applications increasingly require actuators that offer a combination of high force output, large stroke and high accuracy. The ElectroHydraulic Actuator (EHA) was designed by Drs. Habibi and Goldenberg originally as a high-performance actuator for use in robotics. However, it was determined that the EHA had the potential to achieve high positional accuracy. Little research has been performed in the area of high-accuracy hydraulic positioning systems. Therefore, the objective of this study to achieve nano-scale positional accuracy with the EHA while maintaining large stroke and high force output. It was planned to achieve this objective through modification of the prototype EHA and the use of fuzzy control. During this research project, both hardware and control system modifications to the EHA were performed. A high-precision optical encoder position sensor with a 50 nm resolution was mounted on the inertial load to directly measure the position of the load. A number of device drivers were written to interface the MATLAB real-time control environment with the optical encoder and servo motor amplifier. A Sugeno-inference fuzzy controller was designed and implemented in MATLAB. For comparison purposes, a switched-gain controller and a proportional controller were also implemented in the control environment. The performance of the fuzzy controller was compared to the switched-gain controller and the proportional controller in a number of tests. First, the regulatory and tracking performance of the EHA with an inertial load of 20 kg was examined. It was determined in the regulatory tests that the positional accuracy of the EHA with the fuzzy controller was excellent, achieving a steady state error of 50 ± 25 nm or less for step inputs in the range 5 cm to 200 nm. The positional accuracy during the tracking tests was found to be reduced compared to the regulatory tests since the actuator did not have sufficient time to settle to final accuracy due to the timevarying input signals. In all cases, it was found that the positional accuracy of the EHA with the fuzzy controller was significantly greater than with the switched-gain and proportional controllers for both regulatory and tracking signals. Testing with the inertial load eliminated or changed was not performed because the position sensor was mounted to the load, making it unfeasible to alter the load during the time frame of this study. The regulatory and tracking performance of the EHA with an inertial load of 20 kg plus external resistive loads of 90 to 280 N were investigated. It was found that the positional accuracy of the EHA decreased with the application of an external load to 3.10 ± 0.835 µm for a 1 cm step input (90 N load) and 8.45 ± 0.400 µm for a 3 cm step input (280 N load). Again, the positional accuracy of the EHA decreased during the tracking tests relative to the regulatory tests, for the reason stated above. This implies that the positional accuracy of the EHA with a resistive load is in the microscale, rather than the nano-scale as was put forth as the objective of this study. Nevertheless, the positional accuracy of the EHA with the fuzzy controller was found to be significantly greater than with the switched-gain and proportional controllers. It is postulated that the increase in positional error observed during the external load tests was due to an increase in cross-port leakage, relative to the inertial load tests, caused by the pressure differential induced across the actuator by the external load. Methods of reducing the increase in positional error caused by external loads on the EHA remains an area for future study.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Schoenau, Greg J.; Habibi, Saeid R.; Gokaraju, Ramakrishna; Fotouhi, Reza; Chen, X. B. (Daniel); Burton, Richard T.

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:high accuracy actuation hydrostatic electrohydraulic fuzzy control nanoprecision

ISBN:

Date of Publication:05/20/2005

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