Iterative Learning-Based Admittance Control for Autonomous Excavation

  • Heshan FernandoEmail author
  • Joshua A. Marshall
  • Johan Larsson


This paper presents the development and field validation of an iterative learning-based admittance control algorithm for autonomous excavation in fragmented rock using robotic wheel loaders. An admittance control strategy is augmented with iterative learning, which automatically updates control parameters based on the error between a target bucket fill weight and the measured fill weight at the end of each excavation pass. The algorithm was validated through full-scale autonomous excavation experiments with a 14-tonne capacity load-haul-dump (LHD) machine and two different types of excavation materials: fragmented rock and gravel. In both excavation scenarios, the iterative learning algorithm is able to update the admittance control parameters for a specified target bucket fill weight, eliminating the need to manually re-tune control parameters as material characteristics change. These results have practical significance for increasing the autonomy of robotic wheel loaders used in mining and construction.


Autonomous excavation Iterative learning Admittance control Mining robotics 


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The authors would like to thank Håkan Almqvist for his assistance with the field experiments; as well as Ola Petersson, Jörgen Appelgren and Robert Lundh for many useful discussions; and Qing Huang for assistance with programming.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringQueen’s University at KingstonKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceQueen’s University at KingstonKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Rocktec DivisionEpiroc Rock Drills AB at ÖrebroÖrebroSweden

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