Force Control

  • Luigi Villani
  • Joris De Schutter


A fundamental requirement for the success of a manipulation task is the capability to handle the physical contact between a robot and the environment. Pure motion control turns out to be inadequate because the unavoidable modeling errors and uncertainties may cause a rise of the contact force, ultimately leading to an unstable behavior during the interaction, especially in the presence of rigid environments. Force feedback and force control becomes mandatory to achieve a robust and versatile behavior of a robotic system in poorly structured environments as well as safe and dependable operation in the presence of humans. This chapter starts from the analysis of indirect force control strategies, conceived to keep the contact forces limited by ensuring a suitable compliant behavior to the end effector, without requiring an accurate model of the environment. Then the problem of interaction tasks modeling is analyzed, considering both the case of a rigid environment and the case of a compliant environment. For the specification of an interaction task, natural constraints set by the task geometry and artificial constraints set by the control strategy are established, with respect to suitable task frames. This formulation is the essential premise to the synthesis of hybrid force/motion control schemes.


Contact Force Force Control Impedance Control Rotational Stiffness Compliance Matrix 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



degree of freedom




policy iteration


remote center of compliance


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, PRISMA LabUniversità degli Studi di Napoli Federico IINapoliItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuven-HeverleeBelgium

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