Teleoperation In The Presence Of Varying Time Delays And Sandwich Linearity In Actuators

In this paper, a novel control scheme is proposed to guarantee global asymptotic stability of bilateral teleoperation systems that are subjected to time-varying time delays in their communication channel and sandwich linearity in their actuators. This extends prior art concerning control of nonlinear bilateral teleoperation systems under time-varying time delays to the case where the local and the remote robots’ control signals pass through saturation or similar nonlinearities that belong to a class of systems we name sandwich linear systems. Our proposed controller is similar to the proportional plus damping (P+D) controller with the difference that it takes into account the actuator saturation at the outset of control design and alters the proportional term by passing it through a nonlinear function; thus, we call the proposed method as nonlinear proportional plus damping (nP+D).The asymptotic stability of the closed-loop system is established using a Lyapunov-Krasovskii functional under conditions on the controller parameters, the actuator saturation characteristics, and the maximum values of the time-varying time delays. To show the effectiveness of the proposed method, it is simulated on a variable-delay teleoperation system comprising a pair of planar 2-DOF robots subjected to actuator saturation. Furthermore, the controller is experimentally validated on a pair of 3-DOF PHANToM Premium 1.5A robots, which have limited actuation capacity, that form a teleoperation system with a varying-delay communication channel.