A new variable structure PID-controller design for robot manipulators

E. M. Jafarov*, M. N.A. Parlakçi, Y. Istefanopulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


In this brief, a new variable structure proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller design approach is considered for the tracking stabilization of robot motion. The work corroborates the utility of a certain PID sliding mode controller with PID sliding surface for tracking control of a robotic manipulator. Different from the general approach, the conventional equivalent control term is not used in this controller because that needs to use the matching conditions and exact full robot dynamics knowledge, which involves unavailable parameter uncertainties. Though the sliding surface includes also the integral error term, which makes the robot tracking control problem complicated, the existence of a sliding mode and gain selection guideline are clearly investigated. Moreover, different from uniformly ultimately boundedness, the global asymptotic stability of the robot system with proposed controller is analyzed. The sliding and global stability conditions are formulated in terms of Lyapunov full quadratic form and upper and lower matrix norm inequalities. Reduced design is also discussed. The proposed control algorithm is applied to a two-link direct drive robot arm through simulations. The simulation results indicate that the control performance of the robot system is satisfactory. The chattering phenomenon is handled by the use of a saturation function replaced with a pure signum function in the control law. The saturation function results in a smooth transient performance. The proposed approach is compared with the existing alternative sliding mode controllers for robot manipulators in terms of advantages and control performances. A comparative analysis with a plenty of simulation results soundly confirmed that the performance of developed variable structure PID controller is better under than those of both classical PID controller and an existing variable structure controller with PID-sliding surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Lyapunov full quadratic form
  • Robot tracking control
  • Sliding mode
  • Variable structure PID controller


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