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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 810231, 16 pages
Research Article

Position Control of a Pneumatic Muscle Actuator Using RBF Neural Network Tuned PID Controller

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China

Received 1 September 2014; Revised 19 March 2015; Accepted 19 March 2015

Academic Editor: Seungik Baek

Copyright © 2015 Jie Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pneumatic Muscle Actuator (PMA) has a broad application prospect in soft robotics. However, PMA has highly nonlinear and hysteretic properties among force, displacement, and pressure, which lead to difficulty in accurate position control. A phenomenological model is developed to portray the hysteretic behavior of PMA. This phenomenological model consists of linear component and hysteretic component force. The latter component is described by Duhem model. An experimental apparatus is built up and sets of experimental data are acquired. Based on the experimental data, parameters of the model are identified. Validation of the model is performed. Then a novel cascade position PID controller is devised for a 1-DOF manipulator actuated by PMA. The outer loop of the controller is to cope with position control whilst the inner loop deals with pressure dynamics within PMA. To enhance the adaptability of the PID algorithm to the high nonlinearities of the manipulator, PID parameters are tuned online using RBF Neural Network. Experiments are performed and comparison between position response of RBF Neural Network based PID controller and that of classic PID controller demonstrates the effectiveness of the novel adaptive controller on the manipulator.