This paper presents some aspects of the behavior of hydraulically actuated heavy duty manipulators. This category of manipulators is used extensively in large resource based industries and any improvement in efficiency may result in major financial benefits. In this paper an adaptive control algorithm is used for a two rigid link manipulator driven by hydraulic actuators. The dynamic model of the manipulator is derived as well as the models of the hydraulic actuators including compliance, dead time and full dynamics of the servo valves. An adaptive control algorithm is considered since changes occur on-line in the system's parameters. The adaptive algorithm used is Generalized Predictive Control (GPC). The GPC uses a controlled autoregressive integrated moving average (CARIMA) type model and a cost function that minimizes a predicted future output error and future weighted control inputs to the plant, resulting in a sequence of future control increments. The procedure, in this work, does not separate the hydraulic actuator and the link dynamics into separate sub-systems, but controls them as one system. The changes in the system's parameters due to the hydraulics or the link dynamics can be estimated and the coefficients of the model adjusted without the necessity of identifying the exact cause of the changes.
It was found in this work that the variations of the GPC control horizon can lead to faster response during transients and significantly reduced overshoot in the nonlinear hydraulic actuation system. An on-line change of the maximum output horizon is also introduced.
This work shows the analysis and results of a two link manipulator with hydraulic actuators. It can be implemented on any hydraulically actuated manipulator with any number of links and actuators.
Numerical simulations are performed on a Vax 3200 computer and the results are presented.