2011 Volume 4 Issue 4 Pages 289-294
An optimal regulator problem for endpoint position control of a robot arm with (or without) redundancy in its total degrees-of-freedom (DOF) is solved by combining Riemannian geometry with nonlinear control theory. Given a target point, within the task-space, that the arm endpoint should reach, a task-space position feedback with joint damping is shown to asymptotically stabilize reaching movements even if the number of DOF of the arm is greater than the dimension of the task space and thereby the inverse kinematics is ill-posed. Usually the speed of convergence of the endpoint trajectory is unsatisfactory, depending on the choice of feedback gains for joint damping. Hence, to speed up the convergence without incurring further energy consumption, an optimal control design for minimizing a performance index composed of an integral of joint dissipation energy plus a linear quadratic form of the task-space control input and output is introduced. It is then shown that the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation derived from the principle of optimality is solvable in control variables and the Hamilton-Jacobi equation itself has an explicit solution. Although the state of the original dynamics (the Euler-Lagrange equation) with DOF-redundancy contains uncontrollable and unobservable manifolds, the dynamics satisfies a nonlinear version of the Kalman-Yakubovich-Popov lemma and the task-space input-output passivity. An inverse problem of optimal regulator design for robotic arms under the effect of gravity is also tackled by combining Riemannian geometry with passivity-based control theory.