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ABSTRACT: Joint position control is a dominant paradigm in industrial robots. While it has been successful in various industrial tasks, joint position control is severely limited in performing advanced robotic tasks, especially in unstructured dynamic environments. This paper presents the concept of torque-to-position transformer designed to allow the implementation of joint torque control techniques on joint position-controlled robots. Robot torque control is essentially accomplished by converting desired joint torques into instantaneous increments of joint position inputs. For each joint, the transformer is based on the knowledge of the joint position servo controller and the closed-loop frequency response of that joint. This transformer can be implemented as a software unit and applied to any conventional position-controlled robot so that torque command to the robot becomes available. This approach has been experimentally implemented on the Honda ASIMO robot arm. The paper presents the results of this implementation which demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.
Robotics and Automation, 2008. ICRA 2008. IEEE International Conference on; 06/2008