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Operational space control of a lightweight robotic arm actuated by shape memory alloy wires: a comparative study.

Quintanar-Guzmán, Serket; Kannan, Somasundar; Aguilera-González, Adriana; Olivares-Mendez, Miguel A.; Voos, Holger


Serket Quintanar-Guzmán

Adriana Aguilera-González

Miguel A. Olivares-Mendez

Holger Voos


This article presents the design and control of a two-link lightweight robotic arm using shape memory alloy wires as actuators. Both a single-wire actuated system and an antagonistic configuration system are tested in open and closed loops. The mathematical model of the shape memory alloy wire, as well as the kinematics and dynamics of the robotic arm, are presented. The operational space control of the robotic arm is performed using a joint space control in the inner loop and closed-loop inverse kinematics in the outer loop. In order to choose the best joint space control approach, a comparative study of four different control approaches (proportional derivative, sliding mode, adaptive, and adaptive sliding mode control) is carried out for the proposed model. From this comparative analysis, the adaptive controller was chosen to perform operational space control. This control helps us to perform accurate positioning of the end-effector of shape memory alloy wire–based robotic arm. The complete operational space control was successfully tested through simulation studies performing position reference tracking in the end-effector space. Through simulation studies, the proposed control solution is successfully verified to control the hysteretic robotic arm.


QUINTANAR-GUZMÁN, S., KANNAN, S., AGUILERA-GONZÁLEZ, A., OLIVARES-MENDEZ, M.A. and VOOS, H. 2019. Operational space control of a lightweight robotic arm actuated by shape memory alloy wires: a comparative study. Journal of intelligent material systems and structures [online], 30(9), pages 1368-1384. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 25, 2017
Publication Date May 1, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2021
Journal Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Print ISSN 1045-389X
Electronic ISSN 1530-8138
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 9
Pages 1368-1384
Keywords Shape memory alloy wire; Adaptive control; Lightweight robotic arm; Operational space position control; Hysteresis
Public URL


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