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Actuators, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 34 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A film-based pneumatic actuator was developed by molding and welding polyimide films. By simply welding these molded films, actuators for extreme environments can be fabricated. A pod structure design method to achieve a curved motion and a method to mold the pod structure on polyimide film were established. To validate the effectiveness of the actuator, two types of pneumatic bending actuators with the same curvature, bellows-type (previous one) and pod-type actuators, were fabricated. The pod-type actuators had similar performance and higher design flexibility compared to the bellows type. Moreover, the pod type had approximately twice the durability of the bellows type. By using the fabrication method proposed in this paper, it is possible to fabricate an air chamber (i.e., an actuator) that has both high durability and bending motion. View this paper.
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15 pages, 5076 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Analysis of a Flexural Shape Memory Alloy Actuator
by Richard Dauksher, Zachary Patterson and Carmel Majidi
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080202 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3396
Abstract
Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are popular as actuators for use in soft robots due to their high work density and compatibility with miniaturized on-board batteries and power electronics. However, because SMA actuators are activated through electrical Joule heating, they exhibit poor energy efficiency [...] Read more.
Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are popular as actuators for use in soft robots due to their high work density and compatibility with miniaturized on-board batteries and power electronics. However, because SMA actuators are activated through electrical Joule heating, they exhibit poor energy efficiency and low actuator frequencies that arise from long cool-down times. Moreover, in the case of SMA wires that are subject to flexural loading, their load capacity and mechanical work output decrease exponentially with decreasing cross-sectional area. In this study, we perform analytic and numerical analyses to examine the thermal and structural design space around a particular class of flexural SMA wire actuators with the intention of increasing actuator operating frequency and actuation forces. Measurements obtained through experimental testing are consistent with theoretical studies of actuator force output and provide additional insight into the efficiency of electrical-to-mechanical energy conversion. Together, the theoretical and experimental studies provide insights that have the potential to inform SMA wire design and usage in soft robotic applications. Full article
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23 pages, 10388 KiB  
Article
Adaptive Fuzzy Active-Disturbance Rejection Control-Based Reconfiguration Controller Design for Aircraft Anti-Skid Braking System
by Zhao Zhang, Zhong Yang, Guoxing Zhou, Shuchang Liu, Dongsheng Zhou, Shuang Chen and Xiaokai Zhang
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080201 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2860
Abstract
The aircraft anti-skid braking system (AABS) is an essential aero electromechanical system to ensure safe take-off, landing, and taxiing of aircraft. In addition to the strong nonlinearity, strong coupling, and time-varying parameters in aircraft dynamics, the faults of actuators, sensors, and other components [...] Read more.
The aircraft anti-skid braking system (AABS) is an essential aero electromechanical system to ensure safe take-off, landing, and taxiing of aircraft. In addition to the strong nonlinearity, strong coupling, and time-varying parameters in aircraft dynamics, the faults of actuators, sensors, and other components can also seriously affect the safety and reliability of AABS. In this paper, a reconfiguration controller-based adaptive fuzzy active-disturbance rejection control (AFADRC) is proposed for AABS to meet increased performance demands in fault-perturbed conditions as well as those concerning reliability and safety requirements. The developed controller takes component faults, external disturbance, and measurement noise as the total perturbations, which are estimated by an adaptive extended state observer (AESO). The nonlinear state error feedback (NLSEF) combined with fuzzy logic can compensate for the adverse effects and ensure that the faulty AABS maintains acceptable performance. Numerical simulations are carried out in different runway environments. The results validate the robustness and reconfiguration control capability of the proposed method, which improves AABS safety as well as braking efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robust, Fault-Tolerant Control Design)
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23 pages, 6705 KiB  
Article
Design and Analysis of a Stepping Piezoelectric Actuator Free of Backward Motion
by Xiaofeng Yang, Jinyan Tang, Wenxin Guo, Hu Huang, Haoyin Fan, Jiahui Liu and Tao Li
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080200 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2676
Abstract
Although the stick-slip principle has been widely employed for designing piezoelectric actuators, there still exits an intrinsic drawback, i.e., the backward motion, which significantly affects its output performances and applications. By analyzing the generation mechanism of backward motion in stick-slip piezoelectric actuators, the [...] Read more.
Although the stick-slip principle has been widely employed for designing piezoelectric actuators, there still exits an intrinsic drawback, i.e., the backward motion, which significantly affects its output performances and applications. By analyzing the generation mechanism of backward motion in stick-slip piezoelectric actuators, the elliptical trajectory was employed to design a novel stepping piezoelectric actuator free of backward motion. Accordingly, a prototype of piezoelectric actuator was designed, which utilized a flexure hinge mechanism and two vertically arranged piezoelectric stacks to generate the required elliptical trajectory. The compliance matrix method was used to theoretically analyze the flexure hinge mechanism. The theoretical and measured elliptical trajectories under various phase differences were compared, and the phase difference of 45° was selected accordingly. Under a critical relative gap, output performances of the actuator working under the elliptical trajectory were characterized, and then compared with that obtained under the normal stick-slip driving principle. Experimental results indicated that forward and reverse stepping displacement with completely suppressed backward motion could be achieved when employing the elliptical trajectory, verifying its feasibility. This study provides a new strategy for designing a stepping piezoelectric actuator free of backward motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Sensing and Actuation Systems)
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16 pages, 8538 KiB  
Article
Design of Two-Axial Actuator for Controlled Vibration Damper for Large Rams
by Lukáš Novotný, Jaroslav Červenka, Matěj Sulitka, Jiří Švéda, Miroslav Janota and Petr Kupka
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080199 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2656
Abstract
Machine tool rams are important constructional elements found on vertical lathes as well as on many other machines. In most cases, a machine tool ram constitutes an assembly with significant dynamic compliance that affects the machine’s ability to achieve stable cutting conditions. There [...] Read more.
Machine tool rams are important constructional elements found on vertical lathes as well as on many other machines. In most cases, a machine tool ram constitutes an assembly with significant dynamic compliance that affects the machine’s ability to achieve stable cutting conditions. There are various solutions for increasing a machine tool ram’s stiffness and damping. This paper describes an innovative concept of a two-axial electromagnetic actuator for controlled vibration dampers with high dynamic force values. The described solution is purposefully based on the use of standard electric drives. As a result, the size of the actuator is easier to scale to the required application. The solution is designed as a spacer between the end of the ram and the head. The paper presents the actuator concept, construction design, current control loop solution and experimental verification of the controlled vibration damper’s function on the test ram in detail. The presented position measurement concept will enable the use of non-contact position sensors for motor commutation as well as for possible use in vibration suppression control. Applications can be expected mainly in the field of vibration suppression of vertical rams of large machine tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vibration Control and Structure Health Monitoring)
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30 pages, 10013 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Design and Performance Analyses of a Rubber-Based Peristaltic Micro-Dosing Pump
by Thomas Zehetbauer, Andreas Plöckinger, Carina Emminger and Umut D. Çakmak
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080198 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3954
Abstract
Low pressure fluid transport (1) applications often require low and precise volumetric flow rates (2) including low leakage to reduce additional costly and complex sensors. A peristaltic pump design (3) was realized, with the fluid’s flexible transport channel formed by a solid cavity [...] Read more.
Low pressure fluid transport (1) applications often require low and precise volumetric flow rates (2) including low leakage to reduce additional costly and complex sensors. A peristaltic pump design (3) was realized, with the fluid’s flexible transport channel formed by a solid cavity and a wobbling plate comprising a rigid and a soft layer (4). In operation, the wobbling plate is driven externally by an electric motor, hence, the soft layer is contracted and unloaded (5) during pump-cycles transporting fluid from low to high pressure sides. A thorough characterization of the pump system is required to design and dimension the components of the peristaltic pump. To capture all these parameters and their dependencies on various operation-states, often complex and long-lasting dynamic 3D FE-simulations are required. We present, here, a holistic design methodology (6) including analytical as well as numerical calculations, and experimental validations for a peristaltic pump with certain specifications of flow-rate range, maximum pressures, and temperatures. An experimental material selection process is established and material data of candidate materials (7) (liquid silicone rubber, acrylonitrile rubber, thermoplastic-elastomer) are directly applied to predict the required drive torque. For the prediction, a semi-physical, analytical model was derived and validated by characterizing the pump prototype. Full article
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17 pages, 5178 KiB  
Article
Distributed Secure Edge Computing Architecture Based on Blockchain for Real-Time Data Integrity in IoT Environments
by Rongxu Xu, Lei Hang, Wenquan Jin and Dohyeun Kim
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080197 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3329
Abstract
The traditional cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) architecture places extremely high demands on computers and storage on cloud servers. At the same time, the strong dependence on centralized servers causes major trust problems. Blockchain provides immutability, transparency, and data encryption based on safety [...] Read more.
The traditional cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) architecture places extremely high demands on computers and storage on cloud servers. At the same time, the strong dependence on centralized servers causes major trust problems. Blockchain provides immutability, transparency, and data encryption based on safety to solve these problems of the IoT. In this paper, we present a distributed secure edge computing architecture using multiple data storages and blockchain agents for the real-time context data integrity in the IoT environment. The proposed distributed secure edge computing architecture provides reliable access and an unlimited repository for scalable and secure transactions. The architecture eliminates traditional centralized servers using an edge computing framework that represents cloud computing for computer and security issues. Also, blockchain-based edge computing-compatible IoT design is supported to achieve the level of security and scalability required for data integrity. Furthermore, we present the blockchain agent to provide internetworking between blockchain networks and edge computing. For experimenting with the proposed architecture in the IoT environment, we implement and perform a concrete IoT environment based on the EdgeX framework and Hyperledger Fabric. The evaluation results are collected by measuring the performance of the edge computing and blockchain platform based on service execution time to verify the proposed architecture in the IoT environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensing and Actuating Tasks in IoT Environments)
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21 pages, 500 KiB  
Article
H Reliable Dynamic Output-Feedback Controller Design for Discrete-Time Singular Systems with Sensor Saturation
by Mourad Kchaou, Houssem Jerbi, Naim Ben Ali and Haitham Alsaif
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080196 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
In this study, we investigate the H fault-tolerant control problem for a discrete-time singular system which is subject to external disturbances, actuator faults, and sensor saturation. By assuming that the state variable of the system is unavailable for measurement, and the actuator [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigate the H fault-tolerant control problem for a discrete-time singular system which is subject to external disturbances, actuator faults, and sensor saturation. By assuming that the state variable of the system is unavailable for measurement, and the actuator fault can be described by a Markovian jump process, attention is mainly focused on designing a reliable dynamic output-feedback (DOF) controller able to compensate for the effects of the aforementioned factors on the system stability and performance. Based on the sector non-linear approach to handle the sensor saturation, a new criterion is established to ensure that the closed-loop system is stochastically admissible with a γ level of the H disturbance rejection performance. The main aim of this work is to develop a procedure for synthesizing the controller gains without any model transformation or decomposition of the output matrix. Therefore, by introducing a slack variable, the H admissibility criterion is successfully transformed in terms of strict linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). Three practical examples are exploited to test the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robust, Fault-Tolerant Control Design)
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13 pages, 3994 KiB  
Article
The Development of an Optimally-Tuned PID Control for the Actuator of a Transport Robot
by Pavol Božek and Yury Nikitin
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080195 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3113
Abstract
An optimally-tuned PID control for a transport robot actuator based on an induction motor was developed. Continuous-discrete and continuous mathematical models of the actuator were obtained. The parametric synthesis of PID controller on the basis of continuous and discrete actuator models were performed. [...] Read more.
An optimally-tuned PID control for a transport robot actuator based on an induction motor was developed. Continuous-discrete and continuous mathematical models of the actuator were obtained. The parametric synthesis of PID controller on the basis of continuous and discrete actuator models were performed. Numerical simulations using SimInTech for the adaptive regulator taking into account the cargo weight (from empty to maximum loaded) were carried out. The scheme of automatic selection of actuator PID coefficients considering the cargo weight was proposed. The scheme of automatic selection of coefficients of PID regulator for an actuator with regard to the cargo weight was suggested. As a result of parametric synthesis of discrete PID control law optimum values of its amplification coefficients were determined. There was no overcontrol and the transient time, which satisfied the initial requirements for the optimization of the control algorithm by angular velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Manufacturing Robotics and Mechatronics)
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18 pages, 900 KiB  
Article
A New Method for Friction Estimation in EMA Transmissions
by Gaetano Quattrocchi, Alessandro Iacono, Pier C. Berri, Matteo D. L. Dalla Vedova and Paolo Maggiore
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080194 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
The increasing interest for adopting electromechanical actuators (EMAs) on aircraft demands improved diagnostic and prognostic methodologies to be applied to such systems in order to guarantee acceptable levels of reliability and safety. While diagnostics methods and techniques can help prevent fault propagation and [...] Read more.
The increasing interest for adopting electromechanical actuators (EMAs) on aircraft demands improved diagnostic and prognostic methodologies to be applied to such systems in order to guarantee acceptable levels of reliability and safety. While diagnostics methods and techniques can help prevent fault propagation and performance degradation, prognostic methods can be applied in tandem to reduce maintenance costs and increase overall safety by enabling predictive and condition-based maintenance schedules. In this work, a predictive approach for EMAs friction torque estimation is proposed. The algorithm is based on the reconstruction of the residual torque in mechanical transmissions. The quantity is then sampled and an artificial neural network (ANN) is used to obtain an estimation of the current health status of the transmission. Early results demonstrate that such an approach can predict the transmission health status with good accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Monitoring and Fault Diagnosis on Actuation Systems)
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20 pages, 5324 KiB  
Article
Observer-Based Coordinated Control for Blended Braking System with Actuator Delay
by Wenfei Li, Huiyun Li, Chao Huang, Kun Xu, Tianfu Sun and Haiping Du
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080193 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2155
Abstract
The coordinated control of a blended braking system is always a difficult task. In particular, blended braking control becomes more challenging when the braking actuator has an input time-delay and some states of the braking system cannot be measured. In order to improve [...] Read more.
The coordinated control of a blended braking system is always a difficult task. In particular, blended braking control becomes more challenging when the braking actuator has an input time-delay and some states of the braking system cannot be measured. In order to improve the tracking performance, a coordinated control system was designed based on the input time-delay and state observation for a blended braking system comprising a motor braking system and friction braking system. The coordinated control consists of three parts: Sliding mode control, a multi-input single-output observer, and time-delay estimation-based Smith Predictor control. The sliding mode control is used to calculate the total command braking torque according to the desired braking performance and vehicle states. The multi-input single-output observer is used to simultaneously estimate the input time-delay and output braking torque of the friction braking system. With time-delay estimation-based Smith Predictor control, the friction braking system is able to effectively track the command braking torque of the friction braking system. The tracking of command braking torque is realized through the coordinated control of the motor braking system and friction braking system. In order to validate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, numerical simulations on a quarter-vehicle braking model were performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vehicle Modeling and Control)
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13 pages, 11187 KiB  
Article
Design and Characterization of an Electrostatic Constant-Force Actuator Based on a Non-Linear Spring System
by Anna Christina Thewes, Philip Schmitt, Philipp Löhler and Martin Hoffmann
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080192 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2898
Abstract
In recent years, tissue engineering with mechanical stimulation has received considerable attention. In order to manipulate tissue samples, there is a need for electromechanical devices, such as constant-force actuators, with integrated deflection measurement. In this paper, we present an electrostatic constant-force actuator allowing [...] Read more.
In recent years, tissue engineering with mechanical stimulation has received considerable attention. In order to manipulate tissue samples, there is a need for electromechanical devices, such as constant-force actuators, with integrated deflection measurement. In this paper, we present an electrostatic constant-force actuator allowing the generation of a constant force and a simultaneous displacement measurement intended for tissue characterization. The system combines a comb drive structure and a constant-force spring system. A theoretical overview of both subsystems, as well as actual measurements of a demonstrator system, are provided. Based on the silicon-on-insulator technology, the fabrication process of a moveable system with an extending measurement tip is shown. Additionally, we compare measurement results with simulations. Our demonstrator reaches a constant-force of 79 ± 2 μN at an operating voltage of 25 V over a displacement range of approximately 40 μm, and the possibility of adjusting the constant-force by changing the voltage is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Microactuator Systems)
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25 pages, 10282 KiB  
Article
Model-Free-Based Single-Dimension Fuzzy SMC Design for Underactuated Quadrotor UAV
by Ghulam E Mustafa Abro, Saiful Azrin B. M. Zulkifli, Vijanth Sagayan Asirvadam and Zain Anwar Ali
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080191 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3065
Abstract
The underactuated quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is one of the nonlinear systems that have few actuators as compared to the degree of freedom (DOF); thus, it is a strenuous task to stabilize its attitude and positions. Moreover, an induction of unmodelled dynamic [...] Read more.
The underactuated quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is one of the nonlinear systems that have few actuators as compared to the degree of freedom (DOF); thus, it is a strenuous task to stabilize its attitude and positions. Moreover, an induction of unmodelled dynamic factors and uncertainties make it more difficult to control its maneuverability. In this paper, a model-free based single-dimension fuzzy sliding mode control (MFSDF-SMC) is proposed to control the attitude and positions of underactuated quadrotor UAV. The paper discusses the kinematic and dynamic models with unmodelled dynamic factors and unknown external disturbances. These unmodelled factors and disturbances may lead the quadrotor towards failure in tracking specific trajectory and may also generate some serious transient and steady-state issues. Furthermore, to avoid the problem of gimbal lock, the model is amalgamated with hyperbolic function to resolve the singularity issues dully developed due to Newton Euler’s dynamic modeling. The simulation results performed for MFSDF-SMC using MATLAB software R2020a are compared with conventional sliding mode control, fuzzy-based sliding control and single-dimension fuzzy-based sliding mode control without a model-free approach. The design and implementation of the model-free single dimension-based fuzzy sliding mode control (MFSDF-SMC) with an updated Lyapunov stability theorem is presented in this work. It is observed that MFSDF-SMC produces robust trajectory performance therefore, and the manuscript suggests the experimental setup to test the proposed algorithm in a noisy environment keeping the same conditions. The verification of the equipment used and its effective demonstration is also available for the reader within the manuscript. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Control Systems)
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18 pages, 6186 KiB  
Article
Boundary-Adapted Numerical Modeling of Flow in a Hydrostatic Leadscrew
by Zhe Su, Xianying Feng, Hui Li, Jiajia Lu, Zhaoguo Wang and Yandong Liu
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080190 - 9 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1623
Abstract
A new method is presented to model and predict the flow fields of the hydrostatic leadscrews with greater accuracy. It is different from those available methods, in which various bearings are assumed to be equivalent to the screw-nut pair within a pitch by [...] Read more.
A new method is presented to model and predict the flow fields of the hydrostatic leadscrews with greater accuracy. It is different from those available methods, in which various bearings are assumed to be equivalent to the screw-nut pair within a pitch by various means. In this new method, a helical coordinate system adapting to the boundaries of the flow fields is constructed, which makes the screw-nut meshing clearance calculated more accurate. Based on the finite difference method (FDM), the meshing clearance is discretized into a number of flow fields, which are created by numerous couples of parallel-plate elements moving relatively along the helicoid. The numerical model is solved in MATLAB, and the analyses about the pressure fields demonstrate its favorable performances in reflecting the actual flow fields. Furthermore, the simulation results are compared with the experimental values, confirming the feasibility of the proposed method. Full article
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14 pages, 4837 KiB  
Article
A Novel Rotation-Structure Based Stick-Slip Piezoelectric Actuator with High Consistency in Forward and Reverse Motions
by Jizhou Tang, Jingsong Wei, Yuming Wang, Zhi Xu and Hu Huang
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080189 - 8 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2809
Abstract
Under the same driving voltage and frequency, the forward and reverse motion inconsistency of stick-slip piezoelectric actuators would bring difficulty for subsequent control. To solve this problem, a rotation-structure based piezoelectric actuator with completely symmetric structure and two driving feet was initially proposed. [...] Read more.
Under the same driving voltage and frequency, the forward and reverse motion inconsistency of stick-slip piezoelectric actuators would bring difficulty for subsequent control. To solve this problem, a rotation-structure based piezoelectric actuator with completely symmetric structure and two driving feet was initially proposed. By testing its output performances under various driving voltages and frequencies, it was confirmed that, although similar speeds could be achieved for forward and reverse motions, the maximum displacement and backward displacement in each step were still quite different. By analyzing the reasons leading to this difference, this actuator was further improved by using only one driving foot. The experimental results showed that the forward and reverse motion consistency of the improved actuator had been significantly improved. The deviation rate was only 1.6%, corresponding to a travel distance of 118.7 μm, obtained under the driving voltage of 100 V and driving frequency of 10 Hz. The comparison with some previously reported actuators further confirmed the advancement of this improved actuator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design of Sensing and Actuation Systems)
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21 pages, 1330 KiB  
Article
An AdaBoost-Based Intelligent Driving Algorithm for Heavy-Haul Trains
by Siyu Wei, Li Zhu, Lijie Chen and Qingqing Lin
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080188 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
Heavy-haul trains have the characteristics of large volume, long formation, and complex line conditions, which increase the driving difficulty of drivers and can easily cause safety problems. In order to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy-haul railways, the train control mode urgently [...] Read more.
Heavy-haul trains have the characteristics of large volume, long formation, and complex line conditions, which increase the driving difficulty of drivers and can easily cause safety problems. In order to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy-haul railways, the train control mode urgently needs to be developed towards the direction of automatic driving. In this paper, we take the Shuohuang Railway as the research background and analyze the train operation data of SS4G locomotives. We find that the proportion of operation data under different working conditions is seriously out of balance. Aiming at this unbalanced characteristic, we introduce the classification method in the field of machine learning and design an intelligent driving algorithm for heavy-haul trains. Specifically, we extract the data by random forest algorithm and compare the classification performance of C4.5 and CART algorithms. We then select the CART algorithm as the base classifier of the AdaBoost algorithm to build the model of the automatic air brake. For the purpose of heightening the precision of the model, we optimize the AdaBoost algorithm by improving the generation of training subsets and the weight of voting. The numerical results certify the effectiveness of our proposed approach. Full article
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13 pages, 5644 KiB  
Article
Design and Characterization of a Planar Motor Drive Platform Based on Piezoelectric Hemispherical Shell Resonators
by Frank Schiele and Bernd Gundelsweiler
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080187 - 6 Aug 2021
Viewed by 2231
Abstract
In this study, a planar ultrasonic motor platform is presented that uses three half-side excited piezoelectric hemispherical shell resonators. To understand the working principle and the harmonic vibration behavior of the piezoelectric resonator, the trajectory of the friction contact was measured in free-oscillating [...] Read more.
In this study, a planar ultrasonic motor platform is presented that uses three half-side excited piezoelectric hemispherical shell resonators. To understand the working principle and the harmonic vibration behavior of the piezoelectric resonator, the trajectory of the friction contact was measured in free-oscillating mode at varying excitation frequencies and voltages. The driving performance of the platform was characterized with transport loads up to 5 kg that also serve as an influencing downforce for the friction motor. The working range for various transport loads and electrical voltages up to 30 V is presented. Undesirable noise and parasitic oscillations occur above the detected excitation voltage ranges, depending on the downforce. Therefore, minimum and maximum values of the excitation voltage are reported, in which the propulsion force and the speed of the planar motor can be adjusted, and noiseless motion applies. The multidimensional driving capacity of the platform is demonstrated in two orthogonal axes and one rotary axis in open-loop driving mode, by measuring forces and velocities to confirm its suitability as a planar motor concept. The maximum measured propulsion force of the motor was 7 N with a transport load of 5 kg, and its maximum measured velocity was 77 mm/s with a transport load of 3 kg. Full article
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18 pages, 561 KiB  
Article
Trajectory Tracking Control for Reaction–Diffusion System with Time Delay Using P-Type Iterative Learning Method
by Yaqiang Liu, Jianzhong Li and Zengwang Jin
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080186 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1938
Abstract
This paper has dealt with a tracking control problem for a class of unstable reaction–diffusion system with time delay. Iterative learning algorithms are introduced to make the infinite-dimensional repetitive motion system track the desired trajectory. A new Lyapunov–Krasovskii functional is constructed to deal [...] Read more.
This paper has dealt with a tracking control problem for a class of unstable reaction–diffusion system with time delay. Iterative learning algorithms are introduced to make the infinite-dimensional repetitive motion system track the desired trajectory. A new Lyapunov–Krasovskii functional is constructed to deal with the time-delay system. Picewise distribution functions are applied in this paper to perform piecewise control operations. By using Poincaré–Wirtinger inequality, Cauchy–Schwartz inequality for integrals and Young’s inequality, the convergence of the system with time delay using iterative learning schemes is proved. Numerical simulation results have verified the effectiveness of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control Systems in the Presence of Time Delays)
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22 pages, 32439 KiB  
Article
Control of a Round Jet Intermittency and Transition to Turbulence by Means of an Annular Synthetic Jet
by Zuzana Antošová and Zdeněk Trávníček
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080185 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2340
Abstract
This paper deals with active control of a continuous jet issuing from a long pipe nozzle by means of a concentrically placed annular synthetic jet. The experiments in air cover regimes of laminar, transitional, and turbulent main jet flows (Reynolds number ranges 1082–5181). [...] Read more.
This paper deals with active control of a continuous jet issuing from a long pipe nozzle by means of a concentrically placed annular synthetic jet. The experiments in air cover regimes of laminar, transitional, and turbulent main jet flows (Reynolds number ranges 1082–5181). The velocity profiles (time-mean and fluctuation components) of unforced and forced jets were measured using hot-wire anemometry. Six flow regimes are distinguished, and their parameter map is proposed. The possibility of turbulence reduction by forcing in transitional jets is demonstrated, and the maximal effect is revealed at Re = 2555, where the ratio of the turbulence intensities of the forced and unforced jets is decreased up to 0.45. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flow Control by Means of Synthetic Jet Actuators)
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21 pages, 3599 KiB  
Review
Towards Autonomous Driving: Review and Perspectives on Configuration and Control of Four-Wheel Independent Drive/Steering Electric Vehicles
by Peng Hang and Xinbo Chen
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080184 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 8777
Abstract
In this paper, the related studies of chassis configurations and control systems for four-wheel independent drive/steering electric vehicles (4WID-4WIS EV) are reviewed and discussed. Firstly, some prototypes and integrated X-by-wire modules of 4WID-4WIS EV are introduced, and the chassis configuration of 4WID-4WIS EV [...] Read more.
In this paper, the related studies of chassis configurations and control systems for four-wheel independent drive/steering electric vehicles (4WID-4WIS EV) are reviewed and discussed. Firstly, some prototypes and integrated X-by-wire modules of 4WID-4WIS EV are introduced, and the chassis configuration of 4WID-4WIS EV is analyzed. Then, common control models of 4WID-4WIS EV, i.e., the dynamic model, kinematic model, and path tracking model, are summarized. Furthermore, the control frameworks, strategies, and algorithms of 4WID-4WIS EV are introduced and discussed, including the handling of stability control, rollover prevention control, path tracking control and active fault-tolerate control. Finally, with a view towards autonomous driving, some challenges, and perspectives for 4WID-4WIS EV are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators for Intelligent Electric Vehicles)
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19 pages, 1250 KiB  
Article
Design and Optimal Control of a Multistable, Cooperative Microactuator
by Michael Olbrich, Arwed Schütz, Tamara Bechtold and Christoph Ament
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080183 - 4 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
In order to satisfy the demand for the high functionality of future microdevices, research on new concepts for multistable microactuators with enlarged working ranges becomes increasingly important. A challenge for the design of such actuators lies in overcoming the mechanical connections of the [...] Read more.
In order to satisfy the demand for the high functionality of future microdevices, research on new concepts for multistable microactuators with enlarged working ranges becomes increasingly important. A challenge for the design of such actuators lies in overcoming the mechanical connections of the moved object, which limit its deflection angle or traveling distance. Although numerous approaches have already been proposed to solve this issue, only a few have considered multiple asymptotically stable resting positions. In order to fill this gap, we present a microactuator that allows large vertical displacements of a freely moving permanent magnet on a millimeter-scale. Multiple stable equilibria are generated at predefined positions by superimposing permanent magnetic fields, thus removing the need for constant energy input. In order to achieve fast object movements with low solenoid currents, we apply a combination of piezoelectric and electromagnetic actuation, which work as cooperative manipulators. Optimal trajectory planning and flatness-based control ensure time- and energy-efficient motion while being able to compensate for disturbances. We demonstrate the advantage of the proposed actuator in terms of its expandability and show the effectiveness of the controller with regard to the initial state uncertainty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Microactuator Systems)
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15 pages, 12088 KiB  
Article
3-Bit Digital-to-Analog Converter with Mechanical Amplifier for Binary Encoded Large Displacements
by Lisa Schmitt, Philip Schmitt and Martin Hoffmann
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080182 - 4 Aug 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
We present the design, fabrication, and characterization of a MEMS-based 3-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that allows the generation of large displacements. The DAC consists of electrostatic bending-plate actuators that are connected to a mechanical amplifier (mechAMP), enabling the amplification of the DAC output [...] Read more.
We present the design, fabrication, and characterization of a MEMS-based 3-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that allows the generation of large displacements. The DAC consists of electrostatic bending-plate actuators that are connected to a mechanical amplifier (mechAMP), enabling the amplification of the DAC output displacement. Based on a parallel binary-encoded voltage signal, the output displacement of the system can be controlled in an arbitrary order. Considering the system design, we present a simplified analytic model, which was confirmed by FE simulation results. The fabricated systems showed a total stroke of approx. 149.5 ± 0.3 µm and a linear stepwise displacement of 3 bit correlated to 23 ≙ eight defined positions at a control voltage of 60 V. The minimum switching time between two input binary states is 0.1 ms. We present the experimental characterization of the system and the DAC and derive the influence of the mechAMP on the functionality of the DAC. Furthermore, the resonant behavior and the switching speed of the system are analyzed. By changing the electrode activation sequence, 27 defined positions are achieved upgrading the 3-bit systems into a 3-tri-state (33) system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Microactuator Systems)
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12 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Bi-Directional Origami-Inspired SMA Folding Microactuator
by Lena Seigner, Georgino Kaleng Tshikwand, Frank Wendler and Manfred Kohl
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080181 - 3 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3517
Abstract
We present the design, fabrication, and characterization of single and antagonistic SMA microactuators allowing for uni- and bi-directional self-folding of origami-inspired devices, respectively. Test devices consist of two triangular tiles that are interconnected by double-beam-shaped SMA microactuators fabricated from thin SMA foils of [...] Read more.
We present the design, fabrication, and characterization of single and antagonistic SMA microactuators allowing for uni- and bi-directional self-folding of origami-inspired devices, respectively. Test devices consist of two triangular tiles that are interconnected by double-beam-shaped SMA microactuators fabricated from thin SMA foils of 20 µm thickness with memory shapes set to a 180° folding angle. Bi-directional self-folding is achieved by combining two counteracting SMA microactuators. We present a macromodel to describe the engineering stress–strain characteristics of the SMA foil and to perform FEM simulations on the characteristics of self-folding and the corresponding local evolution of phase transformation. Experiments on single-SMA microactuators demonstrate the uni-directional self-folding and tunability of bending angles up to 180°. The finite element simulations qualitatively describe the main features of the observed torque-folding angle characteristics and provide further insights into the angular dependence of the local profiles of the stress and martensite phase fraction. The first antagonistic SMA microactuators reveal bi-directional self-folding in the range of −44° to +40°, which remains well below the predicted limit of ±100°. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Microactuator Systems)
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16 pages, 3300 KiB  
Article
Vibrational Amplitude Frequency Characteristics Analysis of a Controlled Nonlinear Meso-Scale Beam
by Zu-Guang Ying and Yi-Qing Ni
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080180 - 3 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2000
Abstract
Vibration response and amplitude frequency characteristics of a controlled nonlinear meso-scale beam under periodic loading are studied. A method including a general analytical expression for harmonic balance solution to periodic vibration and an updated cycle iteration algorithm for amplitude frequency relation of periodic [...] Read more.
Vibration response and amplitude frequency characteristics of a controlled nonlinear meso-scale beam under periodic loading are studied. A method including a general analytical expression for harmonic balance solution to periodic vibration and an updated cycle iteration algorithm for amplitude frequency relation of periodic response is developed. A vibration equation with the general expression of nonlinear terms for periodic response is derived and a general analytical expression for harmonic balance solution is obtained. An updated cycle iteration procedure is proposed to obtain amplitude frequency relation. Periodic vibration response with various frequencies can be calculated uniformly using the method. The method can take into account the effect of higher harmonic components on vibration response, and it is applicable to various periodic vibration analyses including principal resonance, super-harmonic resonance, and multiple stationary responses. Numerical results demonstrate that the developed method has good convergence and accuracy. The response amplitude should be determined by the periodic solution with multiple harmonic terms instead of only the first harmonic term. The damping effect on response illustrates that vibration responses of the nonlinear meso beam can be reduced by feedback control with certain damping gain. The amplitude frequency characteristics including anti-resonance and resonant response variation have potential application to the vibration control design of nonlinear meso-scale structure systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vibration Control and Structure Health Monitoring)
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25 pages, 4813 KiB  
Article
Motion Characteristics of a Clutch Actuator for Heavy-Duty Vehicles with Automated Mechanical Transmission
by Yunxia Li and Zengcai Wang
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080179 - 3 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3238
Abstract
Clutch control has a great effect on the starting quality and shifting quality of heavy-duty vehicles with automated mechanical transmission (AMT). The motion characteristics of a clutch actuator for heavy-duty vehicles with AMT are studied in this paper to investigate the clutch control [...] Read more.
Clutch control has a great effect on the starting quality and shifting quality of heavy-duty vehicles with automated mechanical transmission (AMT). The motion characteristics of a clutch actuator for heavy-duty vehicles with AMT are studied in this paper to investigate the clutch control strategy further. The modeling principle of the automatic clutch system is analyzed, and a simulation analysis is given to prove its validity and rationality. Normalized velocity and velocity modulation percentage are proposed as evaluation parameters for the clutch actuator driven by pulse width modulation (PWM) signals. Based on an AMT test bench, the actuator motion characteristics are analyzed. Experimental results show that the range of normalized velocity and velocity modulation percentage are obtained for the clutch engagement and disengagement processes. By analyzing the experimental data, the engaging velocity and disengaging velocity of the actuator are estimated using the solenoid valves in combination. The research results provide a fundamental basis for precise controlling of the clutch and improving the smoothness of heave-duty vehicles. Full article
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19 pages, 584 KiB  
Article
An Adaptive Model Predictive Control System for Virtual Coupling in Metros
by Xiaolin Luo, Tao Tang, Hongjie Liu, Lei Zhang and Kaicheng Li
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080178 - 1 Aug 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2980
Abstract
Virtual coupling (VC) is an emerging concept and hot research topic in railways, especially for metro systems. Several unit trains in VC drive with a desired minimum distance, and they, as a whole, are regarded as a single train. In this work, a [...] Read more.
Virtual coupling (VC) is an emerging concept and hot research topic in railways, especially for metro systems. Several unit trains in VC drive with a desired minimum distance, and they, as a whole, are regarded as a single train. In this work, a distributed adaptive model predictive control (AMPC) system is proposed to coordinate the driving of each unit train in VC. To obtain the accurate parameters of train dynamics model in a time varying environment, an estimator of the train dynamics model is designed for each AMPC controller. A variable step descent algorithm along the negative gradient direction is adopted for each estimator, which steers the estimated values of the parameters to real ones. Simulations are conducted and the results are compared with both nominal model predictive control system and AMPC system with fixed steps in the literature. Our proposed AMPC system with variable step (AMPCVS) has better performances than other two systems. Results indicate that there is an improvement of the proposed AMPC system with variable steps system when compared with other two existed systems. A running process of VC in a whole inter-station is also simulated here. Experimental results show that the trains track the desired objective well. Full article
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13 pages, 5636 KiB  
Article
Fabrication of a Polyimide Film Pneumatic Actuator by Molding and Welding Processes
by Daisuke Yamaguchi, Tatsuya Hanaki, Yuji Ishino, Masaya Takasaki and Takeshi Mizuno
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080177 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2501
Abstract
The bellows pneumatic actuator, which is made by folding a non-stretch film, has been proposed for various applications because it is easy to fabricate and is extremely thin and light. However, it has subpar durability performance, especially in the folded part of the [...] Read more.
The bellows pneumatic actuator, which is made by folding a non-stretch film, has been proposed for various applications because it is easy to fabricate and is extremely thin and light. However, it has subpar durability performance, especially in the folded part of the film. In this study, we propose an actuator with a pod structure that possesses high design flexibility and is free from folding. A method of molding a pod structure on a polyimide film was established and a pneumatic actuator was successfully fabricated by using PI films. Two types of PI film pneumatic actuators with the same curvature, bellows type, and pod type were fabricated. Both were confirmed to have equivalent output characteristics. The bending angle and generated torque of the pod-structure actuator were 34° and 3.3 mNm, respectively. In addition, the pod structure has approximately twice the durability of the bellows structure. By using the fabrication method proposed in this paper, it is possible to realize an air chamber (i.e., an actuator) that has both high durability and bending motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Muscles and Soft Actuation)
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23 pages, 7220 KiB  
Article
Damping Performance Analysis of Magnetorheological Damper Based on Multiphysics Coupling
by Guoliang Hu, Lifan Wu, Yingjun Deng, Lifan Yu and Bin Luo
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080176 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2915
Abstract
Magnetorheological (MR) damper performance is evaluated only by single-field analysis in the design process, which can easily lead to larger design errors. Based on this, a simulation method of MR damper considering multiphysics coupling was proposed. According to a certain automobile shock absorber [...] Read more.
Magnetorheological (MR) damper performance is evaluated only by single-field analysis in the design process, which can easily lead to larger design errors. Based on this, a simulation method of MR damper considering multiphysics coupling was proposed. According to a certain automobile shock absorber requirement, an MR damper suitable for automobile suspension was designed. The mechanical model, electromagnetic field model, flow field model, and structural stress field model of the MR damper were deduced and established. To investigate the damping performance of the MR damper more accurately, the multiphysics coupling simulation model was established by COMSOL software, and coupling analysis of the electromagnetic field, flow field, and structural stress field was also carried out. The static magnetic field characteristics, dynamic flow field characteristics, stress distribution, and dynamic performance of the proposed MR damper under the action of multiphysics coupling were obtained. The simulation results show that the damping force is 1134.6 N, and the damping adjustable coefficient is 9.1 at an applied current of 1.4 A. A test system was established to analyze the dynamic performance of the MR damper, and the simulation results were compared with the experimental results. The results show that the simulated and experimental results have the same change rule. Moreover, the damping force increases with the applied current, and different external excitations have little effect on the damping force. The damper can output appropriate damping force and has a wide adjustable damping range. The experimental results illustrate that the damping force is 1200.0 N, and the damping adjustable coefficient is 10.1 when the current is 1.4 A. The error between simulation and experiment of the damping force and damping adjustable coefficient is only 5.5% and 9.9%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Actuators for Land Transport)
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29 pages, 12385 KiB  
Article
Design and Evaluation of Fault-Tolerant Electro-Mechanical Actuators for Flight Controls of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
by Mohamed A. A. Ismail, Simon Wiedemann, Colin Bosch and Christoph Stuckmann
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080175 - 25 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4065
Abstract
Electro-mechanical actuators (EMAs) are a primary actuation technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Intensive research has been conducted for designing and evaluating fault-tolerant EMAs for flight controls of UAVs to ensure their compliance with new airworthiness requirements for safe operation over civilian zones. [...] Read more.
Electro-mechanical actuators (EMAs) are a primary actuation technology for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Intensive research has been conducted for designing and evaluating fault-tolerant EMAs for flight controls of UAVs to ensure their compliance with new airworthiness requirements for safe operation over civilian zones. The state-of-the-art research involves several fault-tolerant architectures for EMAs based on parallel electric motors or a single motor with internal fault-tolerant features. In this study, a fault-tolerant architecture is introduced, comprised of two serial electric motors driven by two isolated controllers and a health monitoring system. The procedures of developing various fault-tolerant features are discussed with a deep focus on designing health monitoring functions and evaluating their influence on the overall actuator stability and availability. This work has been conducted and evaluated based on operational data for ALAADy: a heavy gyrocopter-type UAV at DLR (German Aerospace Center). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Monitoring and Fault Diagnosis on Actuation Systems)
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12 pages, 2533 KiB  
Communication
Dynamic Analysis of Intermittent-Motion Conveyor Actuator
by Alexander Prikhodko
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080174 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2927
Abstract
Conveyors are one of the important components of transport systems and are used in almost all branches of mechanical engineering. This paper investigates the dynamics of the intermittent motion conveyor mechanical system. The mechanical transmission is a planetary mechanism with elliptical gears, in [...] Read more.
Conveyors are one of the important components of transport systems and are used in almost all branches of mechanical engineering. This paper investigates the dynamics of the intermittent motion conveyor mechanical system. The mechanical transmission is a planetary mechanism with elliptical gears, in which the intermittent motion of the output shaft is provided by a variable gear ratio of non-circular gears. A single-mass dynamic model is built by reducing the masses, forces and moments to the initial link, which is the input shaft of the mechanism. The solutions of the equations of initial link motion were obtained using two methods, the energy-mass method and the third-order Hermite method. Dynamic studies by the energy-mass method made it possible to determine flywheel moment of inertia to reduce the coefficient of initial link rotation irregularity. The convergence of the functions of the initial link angular velocity obtained by both methods was confirmed. The results can be used for further force analysis, strength calculations, design and manufacture of the conveyor. Full article
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22 pages, 5805 KiB  
Article
Automatic Lane-Changing Decision Based on Single-Step Dynamic Game with Incomplete Information and Collision-Free Path Planning
by Hongbo Wang, Shihan Xu and Longze Deng
Actuators 2021, 10(8), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/act10080173 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3483
Abstract
Traffic accidents are often caused by improper lane changes. Although the safety of lane-changing has attracted extensive attention in the vehicle and traffic fields, there are few studies considering the lateral comfort of vehicle users in lane-changing decision-making. Lane-changing decision-making by single-step dynamic [...] Read more.
Traffic accidents are often caused by improper lane changes. Although the safety of lane-changing has attracted extensive attention in the vehicle and traffic fields, there are few studies considering the lateral comfort of vehicle users in lane-changing decision-making. Lane-changing decision-making by single-step dynamic game with incomplete information and path planning based on Bézier curve are proposed in this paper to coordinate vehicle lane-changing performance from safety payoff, velocity payoff, and comfort payoff. First, the lane-changing safety distance which is improved by collecting lane-changing data through simulated driving, and lane-changing time obtained by Bézier curve path planning are introduced into the game payoff, so that the selection of the lane-changing start time considers the vehicle safety, power performance and passenger comfort of the lane-changing process. Second, the lane-changing path without collision to the forward vehicle is obtained through the constrained Bézier curve, and the Bézier curve is further constrained to obtain a smoother lane-changing path. The path tracking sliding mode controller of front wheel angle compensation by radical basis function neural network is designed. Finally, the model in the loop simulation and the hardware in the loop experiment are carried out to verify the advantages of the proposed method. The results of three lane-changing conditions designed in the hardware in the loop experiment show that the vehicle safety, power performance, and passenger comfort of the vehicle controlled by the proposed method are better than that of human drivers in discretionary lane change and mandatory lane change scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators for Intelligent Electric Vehicles)
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