A Position Synchronization Controller for Co-ordinated Links (COOL) Dual Robot Arm Based on Integral Sliding Mode: Design and Experimental Validation


In this study, a simple position synchronization control algorithm based on an integral sliding mode is developed for dual-arm robotic manipulator systems. A first-order sliding surface is designed using cross-coupling error in order to ensure position synchronization of dual-arm manipulators. The design objective of the proposed controller is to ensure stability as well as to synchronize the movement of both arms while maintaining the trajectory as desired. The integral sliding mode eliminates the reaching phase and guarantees robustness throughout the whole operating period. Additionally, a low pass filter is used to smoothen the discontinuous element and minimize unwanted chattering. Lyapunov stability theory is utilized to prove the asymptotic stability of the controlled system. Simulation studies are performed to validate the proposed controller’s effectiveness. Also, to investigate the possibility of realizing the proposed dynamic control method in practical applications, experiments are conducted on a 14DoF coordinated links (COOL) dual-arm robotic manipulator system. Experimental evidence indicates adequate efficiency in trajectory tracking and guarantees robustness in the presence of parametric uncertainty and external disturbance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    R. Saravanan, S. Ramabalan, C. Balamurugan, A. Subash. Evolutionary trajectory planning for an industrial robot. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 190–198, 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-010-0190-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    L. Xie, Z. L. Wang, W. Wang, G. C. Yu. Emotional gait generation for a humanoid robot. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 64–69, 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-010-0064-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    T. M. Wang, Y. Tao, H. Liu. Current researches and future development trend of intelligent robot: A review. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 525–546, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-018-1115-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    A. Kumar, A. Ojha. Experimental evaluation of certain pursuit and evasion schemes for wheeled mobile robots. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 491–510, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-018-1151-x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    G. Beni. The concept of cellular robotic system. In Proceedings of IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Control, IEEE, Arlington, USA, pp. 57–62, 1988. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ISIC.1988.65405.

    Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    W. Hong, Y. Wang, X. Q. Mu, Y. Wu. A cooperative fuzzy control method for traffic lights. In Proceedings of IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE, Oakland, USA, pp. 185–188, 2001. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ITSC.2001.948653.

    Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    S. Liu, D. Sun, C. Zhu. Coordinated motion planning for multiple mobile robots along designed paths with formation requirement. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 1021–1031, 2011. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TMECH.2010.2070843.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    P. Cheng, J. Fink, V. Kumar, J. S. Pang. Cooperative towing with multiple robots. Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, vol. 1, no. 1, Article number 011008, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2960539.

  9. [9]

    D. Sun. Position synchronization of multiple motion axes with adaptive coupling control. Automatica, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 997–1005, 2003. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-1098(03)00037-2.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    H. Nijmeijer, A. Rodriguez-Angeles. Synchronization of Mechanical Systems, Singapore: World Scientific, 2003. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1142/5391.

    Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    D. Zhao, S. Li, F. Gao, Q. Zhu. Robust adaptive terminal sliding mode-based synchronised position control for multiple motion axes systems. IET Control Theory & Applications, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 136–150, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1049/iet-cta:20070272.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    D. Sun. Synchronization and Control of Multiagent Systems, London, UK: Taylor & Francis, 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    D. Sun, J. K. Mills. Adaptive synchronized control for coordination of multirobot assembly tasks. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 498–510, 2002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TRA.2002.802229.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    A. Rodriguez-Angeles, H. Nijmeijer. Mutual synchronization of robots via estimated state feedback: A cooperative approach. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 542–554, 2004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TCST.2004.825065.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. [15]

    W. H. Zhu. On adaptive synchronization control of coordinated multirobots with flexible/rigid constraints. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 520–525, 2005. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2004.839219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. [16]

    G. L. Sun, X. Li, P. Li, Y. Meng, Y. Zhou, E. Z. Xu, Y. H. Liu. A synchronization scheme for position control of multiple rope-climbing robots. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, IEEE, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 736–3741, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2018.8460484.

    Google Scholar 

  17. [17]

    W. W. Shang, B. Y. Zhang, B. Zhang, F. Zhang, S. Cong. Synchronization control in the cable space for cable-driven parallel robots. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol. 66, no. 6, pp. 4544–4554, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TIE.2018.2864512.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. [18]

    C. Edwards, S. K. Spurgeon. Sliding Mode Control: Theory and Applications, Boca Raton, USA: CRC Press, 1998.

    Google Scholar 

  19. [19]

    V. Utkin, J. Guldner, J. X. Shi. Sliding Mode Control in Electromechanical Systems. London, UK: Taylor & Francis, 1999.

    Google Scholar 

  20. [20]

    D. Zhao, C. Li, Q. Zhu. Low-pass-filter-based position synchronization sliding mode control for multiple robotic manipulator systems. In Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part I: Journal of Systems and Control Engineering, vol. 225, no. 8, pp. 1136–1148, 2011. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959651811401303.

    Google Scholar 

  21. [21]

    L. B. Li, L. L. Sun, S. Z. Zhang. Mean deviation coupling synchronous control for multiple motors via second-order adaptive sliding mode control. ISA Transactions, vol. 62, pp. 222–235, 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isatra.2016.01.015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. [22]

    M. L. Wang, X. M. Ren, Q. Chen. Robust tracking and distributed synchronization control of a multi-motor servomechanism with H-infinity performance. ISA Transactions, vol. 72, pp. 147–160, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isatra.2017.09.018.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. [23]

    M. Fathallah, F. Abdelhedi, N. Derbel. Synchronization of multi-robot manipulators based on high order sliding mode control. In Proceedings of International Conference on Smart, Monitored and Controlled Cities, IEEE, Sfax, Tunisia, pp. 138–142, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/SM2C.2017.8071835.

    Google Scholar 

  24. [24]

    Y. C. Liu, N. Chopra. Controlled synchronization of heterogeneous robotic manipulators in the task space. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 268–275, 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2011.2168690.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. [25]

    H. L. Wang. Passivity based synchronization for networked robotic systems with uncertain kinematics and dynamics. Automatica, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 755–761, 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.automatica.2012.11.003.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. [26]

    D. Y. Zhao, S. Y. Li, Q. M. Zhu. Adaptive synchronised tracking control for multiple robotic manipulators with uncertain kinematics and dynamics. International Journal of Systems Science, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 791–804, 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207721.2014.906681.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. [27]

    Q. Khan, A. I. Bhatti, S. Iqbal, M. Iqbal. Dynamic integral sliding mode for MIMO uncertain nonlinear systems. International Journal of Control, Automation and Systems, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 151–160, 2011. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12555-011-0120-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. [28]

    V. Utkin, J. X. Shi. Integral sliding mode in systems operating under uncertainty conditions. In Proceedings of the 35th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, IEEE, Kobe, Japan, vol. 4, pp. 4591–4596, 1996. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/CDC.1996.577594.

  29. [29]

    W. M. Bessa. Some remarks on the boundedness and convergence properties of smooth sliding mode controllers. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 154–158, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-009-0154-z.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. [30]

    I. M. Boiko. Chattering in sliding mode control systems with boundary layer approximation of discontinuous control. International Journal of Systems Science, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 1126–1133, 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207721.2011.652233.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. [31]

    P. V. Suryawanshi, P. D. Shendge, S. B. Phadke. A boundary layer sliding mode control design for chatter reduction using uncertainty and disturbance estimator. International Journal of Dynamics and Control, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 456–465, 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40435-015-0150-9.

    MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. [32]

    S. Mahjoub, F. Mnif, N. Derbel. Second-order sliding mode approaches for the control of a class of underactuated systems. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 134–141, 2015. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-015-0880-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. [33]

    S. Mondal, J. Ghommam, M. Saad. An adaptive full order sliding mode controller for mismatched uncertain systems. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 191–201, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-017-1057-z.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. [34]

    J. J. E. Slotine, W. P. Li. Applied Nonlinear Control, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall, 1991.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sumi Phukan.

Additional information

Sumi Phukan received the B. Eng. degree from Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department, NETES (North East Technical Education Society) Institute of Technology and Science Mirza, India in 2013. Currently, she is a Ph. D. degree candidate in Electronics and Electrical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India.

Her research interests include sliding mode control and controller design for robotic manipulators.

Chitralekha Mahanta received the Ph. D. degree in control from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India in 2000. She joined as an assistant professor in Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), IIT Guwahati, India in 2000. Since then, she has been involved in active research in the area of control theory and its applications. She has offered a variety of courses in undergraduate and post graduate studies in the field of control systems at IIT Guwahati, India. She has been a full time professor in Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (EEE), IIT Guwahati since April 2012, starting her research at IIT Guwahati, India in the field of intelligent control. Currently, she is involved in the areas of robust and adaptive control with applications in robotics and flight control. She is a senior member of IEEE and a fellow of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE).

Her research interests include control of nonlinear uncertain systems, sliding mode control of underactuated systems specific to humanoid robot arm, actuator failure tolerant control design for nonlinear systems with application in aircraft control.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Phukan, S., Mahanta, C. A Position Synchronization Controller for Co-ordinated Links (COOL) Dual Robot Arm Based on Integral Sliding Mode: Design and Experimental Validation. Int. J. Autom. Comput. 18, 110–123 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-020-1242-3

Download citation


  • Integral sliding mode control
  • position synchronization
  • dual-arm robotic manipulator
  • chattering
  • robust control