Sliding-Mode Control Of Nonlinear Discrete-Input Pneumatic Actuators

For a robotic system that uses on/off (solenoid) pneumatic actuators, this paper proposes a sliding mode law for precise position control with minimal switching activity. For a two-chamber pneumatic actuator with four binary solenoid valves, there is a total of sixteen possible input combinations defined directly from the state of the four on/off solenoid valves present in the system. However, only seven of these discrete operating modes are considered both functional and unique. Accordingly, we use a seven-mode sliding controller that minimizes the position error using modes that have both the necessary and sufficient amounts of drive energy and, thus, involve reduced switching activity. An analysis of the closed loop system stability is carried out. The performance of the proposed control design is experimentally verified on a single pneumatic actuator comprising of two chambers driven by four on/off solenoid valves.