Robotic force/velocity control for following unknown contours of granular materials

Kegen Yu*, Jon Kieffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The paper reports on the development of hybrid force-velocity control to enable an end-effector tool to track the unknown contours of a pile of granular material. It has potential application to raw materials handling. Experimental measurements are used to determine an empirical force-motion model. Then a contour-following control law is proposed and proven to be stable regarding the model. The controller is applied experimentally and demonstrated to reliably track both normal force and tangential velocity for various unknown contours. Finally, an adaptive control method is developed and shown to improve the controller's tolerance to variations in contact parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1256
Number of pages8
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Hybrid force-velocity control
  • Model-based adaptive control
  • Robot control


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