Robust Tracking of Robot Manipulators via Momentum-based Disturbance Observer and Passivity-based Controller


The passivity-based controller is one of most widely-used controllers for robot manipulators. Since it strongly exploits the system properties, it does not produce unnecessarily large control effort and has inherent robustness against plant uncertainty and disturbance. This paper presents an inner-loop controller which can enhance the robustness of the passivity-based tracking controllers. The inner-loop controller developed in this paper robustly estimates the lumped disturbance, which is defined by the effect of plant uncertainty and external disturbance, and generates a compensating signal so that the closed-loop system consisting of the uncertain robot, disturbance observer, and passivity-based controller behaves like the nominal closed-loop system composed of the nominal model of the robot and the passivity-based controller. It is seen that the tracking error can be made arbitrarily small by choosing the controller parameters appropriately and the performance of the proposed controller is validated through numerical simulations.

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Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wonseok Ha.

Additional information

Recommended by Associate Editor Wei He under the direction of Editor Jessie (Ju H.) Park. This research was supported by the Human Resources Program in Energy Technology of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted financial resource from the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, Republic of Korea (No. 20184030201940). The work reported in this paper was conducted during the sabbatical year of Kwangwoon University in 2016.

Juhoon Back received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Design and Production Engineering from Seoul National University, in 1997 and 1999, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Seoul National University in 2004. From 2005 to 2006, he worked as a research associate at Imperial College London, UK. Since 2008 he has been with Kwangwoon University, Korea, where he is currently a professor. His research interests include control system theory and design, renewable energy systems, and multi-agent systems.

Wonseok Ha received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Information and Control Engineering and Control and Instrumentation Engineering from Kwangwoon University, Seoul, Korea, in 2014 and 2016, respectively. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. degree at Kwangwoon University. His research interests include nonlinear control and robust control.

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Back, J., Ha, W. Robust Tracking of Robot Manipulators via Momentum-based Disturbance Observer and Passivity-based Controller. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 17, 976–985 (2019).

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  • Momentum-based disturbance observer
  • passivity-based controller
  • robot manipulators
  • robust control