Recently the use of robot manipulators has been increasing in many applications such as medical applications, automobile, construction, manufacturing, military, space, etc. However, current rigid manipulators have high inertia and use actuators with large energy consumption. Moreover, rigid manipulators are slow and have low payload-to arm-mass ratios because link deformation is not allowed. The main advantages of flexible manipulators over rigid manipulators are light in weight, higher speed of operation, larger workspace, smaller actuator, lower energy consumption and lower cost. However, there is no adequate closed-form solutions exist for flexible manipulators. This is mainly because flexible dynamics are modeled with partial differential equations, which give rise to infinite dimensional dynamical systems that are, in general, not possible to represent exactly or efficiently on a computer which makes modeling a challenging task. In addition, if flexibility nature wasn't considered, there will be calculation errors in the calculated torque requirement for the motors and in the calculated position of the end-effecter. As for the control task, it is considered as a complex task since flexible manipulators are non-minimum phase system, under-actuated system and Multi-Input/Multi-Output (MIMO) nonlinear system. This thesis focuses on the development of dynamic formulation model and three control techniques aiming to achieve accurate position control and improving dynamic stability for Two-Link Flexible Manipulators (TLFMs). LQR controller is designed based on the linearized model of the TLFM; however, it is applied on both linearized and nonlinear models. In addition to LQR, Backstepping and Sliding mode controllers are designed as nonlinear control approaches and applied on both the nonlinear model of the TLFM and the physical system. The three developed control techniques are tested through simulation based on the developed dynamic formulation model using MATLAB/SIMULINK. Stability and performance analysis were conducted and tuned to obtain the best results. Then, the performance and stability results obtained through simulation are compared. Finally, the developed control techniques were implemented and analyzed on the 2-DOF Serial Flexible Link Robot experimental system from Quanser and the results are illustrated and compared with that obtained through simulation.


Robotics, Control & Smart Systems Program

Degree Name

MS in Robotics, Control and Smart Systems

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2017

First Advisor

Habib, Maki

Committee Member 1

Younan, Maher

Committee Member 2

Abdelaal, Wahied


134 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item