Time-optimal control of variable-stiffness-actuated systems

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Variable-stiffness actuation exhibits promising features for obtaining human-like behavior and safer human robot physical interaction. Task planning and closedloop control of these systems pose many challenges due to their complicated structure and the need of satisfying many constraints during task execution. This paper introduces a framework for the design and numerical solution of time-optimal control problems for variable-stiffnessactuated (VSA) systems. Two different time-optimal control problems, namely, minimum time for target performance and minimum time for maximum performance, are formally defined, and methods for solving them are presented based on existing numerical software tools for nonlinear optimization. Two experimental case studies, focusing on ballthrowing tasks with antagonistically actuated VSA systems, are used to test the presented methods and show their validity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7858792
Pages (from-to)1247-1258
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Nonlinear optimization
  • Robotics
  • Timeoptimal control
  • Variable-impedance actuation
  • Variablestiffness actuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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