Stability, Performance, and Implementation Issues in Bilateral Teleoperation Control and Haptic Simulation Systems
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Master-Slave teleoperation systems are designed to extend a human's manipulation capability to remote tasks. Recent applications of these systems are in robotic therapy, telesurgery, and medical simulators. In practice, due to the uncertainties in the operator and environment dynamics, and time delay, stability and performance are compromised. Stability-based and performance-based controllers are introduced for these systems. A major class of the former controllers are based on the passivity theory and suffer from the assumed unbounded range of dynamics which is rather unrealistic. The latter class of controllers are mostly adaptive methods that are based on performance optimization. The theme of this thesis is on the development of new stability analysis methods, control strategies, and implementation techniques for enhanced trade-off between stability and performance. I have developed a less conservative passivity-based robust stability method and introduced, for the first time, the notion of Bounded Impedance Absolute Stability. The method provides mathematical and visual aids to incorporate bounds of the passive environment impedance for less conservative guaranteed stability conditions, promising a better compromise between stability and performance. I have extended the new method to include the dynamic range of the human operator for increased stability margins. I have also used the new method to develop a bilateral controller robust to time delays. Furthermore, I have investigated the effect of sampling position versus velocity for various sampling models to obtain less conservative coupled stability conditions for haptic simulation systems. Estimates of the environment dynamics are required to include their variations. Therefore, I have proposed two new real-time parameter estimation methods for linear and nonlinear contacts and experimentally evaluated and compared them with the available techniques. Finally, I have introduced needle insertion as a task in telerobotic systems to combine the expertise of the surgeon with robotic control. Here, the very first few steps needed to effectively control the targeting needles have been taken. I have developed a mechanics-based dynamic model for bevel-tip flexible needles inserted into soft tissues. Finite element models are used to estimate soft tissue deformation, while the mechanics-based model is used to predict needle deflections due to bevel-tip asymmetry.