JOURNAL OF VIBRATION AND CONTROL, vol.26, pp.976-988, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Stewart platform or other parallel manipulators with a Stewart structure are commonly used in flight simulators, surgical operations, medical rehabilitation processes, machine tools, industrial applications, etc. Therefore, researchers have paid attention to position control of these manipulators in addition to their design and development process. In this study, a developed Stewart platform and its inverse kinematic analysis are presented first. Then, a model-free control scheme called a high order differential feedback controller scheme is designed for the Stewart platform in order to improve its trajectory tracking performance and robustness against to different reference trajectories. Real-time trajectory tracking experiments with varied reference trajectories are carried out to show the robustness and effectiveness of the high order differential feedback controller scheme compared to the traditional proportional-integral-derivative controller of which the parameters are optimally tuned. The obtained visual trajectory tracking results and numerical performance results based on error-based performance measurement metrics such as integral of absolute error, integral of squared error, and integral of time-weighted absolute error are provided for both the proposed high order differential feedback controller scheme and the optimal tuned proportional-integral-derivative controller. Experimental results show that the proposed high order differential feedback controller scheme is more robust than the proportional-integral-derivative controller. Furthermore, the high order differential feedback controller scheme has superiority in both transient and steady-state responses and even the parameters of the proportional-integral-derivative controller are optimally tuned.