This paper proposes the combination of two data-driven techniques, namely virtual reference feedback tuning (VRFT) and model-Free Control (MFC) in terms of the VRFT of MFC algorithms dedicated to servo systems. VRFT ensures the automatic optimal computation of the parameters of three MFC algorithms represented by intelligent proportional (iP), intelligent proportional-integral (iPI), and intelligent proportional-integral-derivative (iPID) controllers. The combination of MFC and VRFT leads to a novel mixed MFC-VRFT approach. The approach is validated by experimental results related to the angular speed control of modular servo system laboratory equipment. The performance of the control systems with the MFC algorithms (iP, iPI, and iPID controllers) tuned by the mixed MFC-VRFT approach is compared with that of control systems with MFC algorithms tuned by a metaheuristics gravitational search algorithm (GSA) optimizer, and of control systems with I, PI and PID controllers optimally tuned by VRFT and GSA in the same optimization problem.
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