Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Number of Pages



The goal of this thesis is to design the controller for a single arm manipulator having a flexible joint for the tracking problem in two different cases. A controller is designed for a deterministic case wherein the plant parameters are assumed to be known while another is designed for an adaptive case where all the plant parameters are assumed to be unknown. In general the tracking problem is; given a smooth reference trajectory, the end effector has to track the reference while maintaining the stability. It is assumed that only the output of the manipulator, which is the link angle, is available for measurement. Also without loss of generality, the fast dynamics, that is the dynamics of the driver side of the system are neglected for the sake of simplicity; In the first case, the design procedure adopted is called observer backstepping. Since the states of the system are unavailable for measurement, an observer is designed that estimates the system states. These estimates are fed to the controller which in turn produces the control input to the system; The second case employs a design procedure called tuning functions design. In this case, since the plant parameters are unknown, the observer designed in case one cannot be used for determining the state estimates. For this purpose, parameter update laws and filters are designed for estimation of plant parameters. The filters employed are k-filters. The k-filters and the parameter update laws are given as input to the controller, which generates the control input to the system; For both cases, the mathematical models are simulated using Matlab/Simulink, and the results are verified.


Control; Design; Flexible; Function; Joint; Manipulator; Robotic; Tuning

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

1443.84 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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