Actuator Modeling and Simulation

  • Jörn MalzahnEmail author
  • Victor Barasuol
  • Klaus Janschek
Reference work entry


Humanoid robot actuators are highly integrated mechatronic systems. They exist in a broad variety of dimensions. Their operating principle can be based on electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic power. In any case, their modeling and simulation involve knowledge across multiple physical domains such as mechanics and electro-, fluid-, and thermodynamics. The domains are mutually coupled through energy transfer and conversion processes. The substantial degree of complexity arising from all these aspects renders the high-fidelity modeling and simulation of humanoid robot actuators a challenging task. This chapter equips the reader starting to explore this field with an overview over modeling formalisms and software tools suitable to govern this complexity. Moreover, it introduces the fundamental working principles behind electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic actuation. The experienced reader will find information about advanced topics on parasitic effects that are frequently encountered when working in depth on the design and control of humanoid robot actuators. In addition, the chapter covers compliant actuation, which is currently a very active research direction toward a new generation of humanoid robots capable of solving real-world tasks in unstructured dynamic environments.


Actuator Model Compliant Actuators Humanoid Robot Pneumatic Artificial Muscles Series Elastic Actuators 
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörn Malzahn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Victor Barasuol
    • 1
  • Klaus Janschek
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Advanced RoboticsIstituto Italiano di TecnologiaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of AutomationTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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