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Integrative Tracking Control Strategy for Robotic Excavation

Niraj Reginald, Jaho Seo*, and Moohyun Cha
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 19, no. 10, pp.3435-3450, 2021

Abstract : Automated excavation is hard to achieve due to several inherent problems such as resistive force acting against the bucket, non-homogenous dynamics of various excavation media, and nonlinearities of the excavator’s hydraulics system. To deal with this issue, this paper provides an integrative control strategy for successful autonomous excavation that considers the mutually associated factors, i.e., position, contour, and force control. For the position tracking, a non-linear PI controller was designed to track the position of individual actuators of the excavator and thereby control the bucket tip’s position. In addition, the contour control technique was applied to achieve an optimal excavation path to minimize contour errors. Finally, to compensate for the ground resistive force during digging tasks, a force impedance controller was designed along with the time-delayed control that reduces the effect of dynamic uncertainties. Experimental results with a modified mini-wheeled excavator show that the developed integrative tracking control strategy can provide a comprehensive solution to improving the tracking performance for autonomous excavation that can simultaneously deal with the critical components of position, contour, and force control.

Keyword : Autonomous excavation, contour control, force control, integrative tracking control, position control

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