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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Introducing fundamental concepts of control: A case study in robot force control

Burn, Kevin, Robinson, Evan and Dixon, Derek (2014) Introducing fundamental concepts of control: A case study in robot force control. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, 42 (4). pp. 320-339. ISSN 2050-4586

Item Type: Article


This paper describes an approach to teaching concepts of automatic control, aimed principally at mechanical engineering students on courses that do not include a dedicated control module. The application area employed is robot force control, which has been the focus of much research during the past three or more decades. In this work, a robot is modelled in MATLAB and Simulink as a simple one degree-of-freedom ‘arm’, which is based upon a velocity controlled DC motor. The paper describes the development of this model and how it can be approximated as a standard second order system from step response data. Three example solutions for designing a suitable force controller are then discussed, for a situation where the stiffness of contact at the robot/task interface is known and constant. The approach can be used in conjunction with a more traditional course in automatic control, or act as standalone tutorial for those with a more specific interest in force control.

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More Information

Depositing User: Kevin Burn


Item ID: 5575
Identification Number:
ISSN: 2050-4586
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Kevin Burn: ORCID iD
ORCID for Derek Dixon: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:38


Author: Kevin Burn ORCID iD
Author: Derek Dixon ORCID iD
Author: Evan Robinson
Author: Kevin Burn
Author: Evan Robinson
Author: Derek Dixon

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology
Faculty of Technology > School of Engineering


Engineering > Mechanical Engineering

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