Two difficulties that arise in controlling a robot arm (plant) are the changes in inertia and the lack of a velocity feedback. The inertia of the arm varies when the robot picks up or releases a load and the velocity would need a tachometer to be measured (expensive and not practical). One way to overcome those problems is to use an autoadaptive model to represent the plant. If the model 'follows' the plant transfer function and both have the same input, the model can have velocity feedback and the effects will be reflected in the plant. The solution presented above was investigated and simulated in DSL by Kenneth R. Wikstrom, in his thesis from NPS in September of 1986. In the present research, a hardware and assembly software was designed and implemented based on the same structure mentioned in that thesis. The block diagram and autoadaptive algorithm were slightly modified and the plant was simulated in a dedicated analog computer. Two transfer functions were tested in the analog plant: a disk drive motor and a robot motor. (Author) Keywords: Subroutines; microprocessors.
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