Adaptive robust decoupling control of multi-arm space robots using time-delay estimation technique

Xin Zhang, Jinguo Liu, Qing Gao, Zhaojie Ju

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The most distinctive difference between a space robot and a base-fixed robot is its free-flying/floating base, which results in the dynamic coupling effect. The mounted manipulator motion will disturb the position and attitude of the base, thereby deteriorating the operational accuracy of the end effector. This paper focuses on decoupling or counteracting the coupling between the manipulator and the base. The dynamics model of multi-arm space robots is established using the composite rigid dynamics modeling approach to analyze the dynamic coupling force/torque. An adaptive robust controller that is based on time-delay estimation (TDE) and sliding mode control (SMC) is designed to decouple the multi-arm space robot. In contrast to the online computation method, the proposed controller compensates for the dynamic coupling via the TDE technique and the SMC can complement and reinforce the robustness of the TDE. The global asymptotic stability of the proposed decoupling controller is mathematically proven. Several contrastive simulation studies on a dual-arm space robot system are conducted to evaluate the performance of the TDE-based SMC controller. The results of qualitative and quantitative analysis illustrate that the proposed controller is simpler and yet more effective.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 7 May 2020


  • Multi-arm space robots
  • Composite rigid dynamics modeling
  • Decoupling controller
  • Time-delay estimation
  • Sliding mode control


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