SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Kun Bai
TIME: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 12:30 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
COMMITTEE: Dr. Kok-Meng Lee, Chair (ME)
Dr. Magnus Egerstedt (ECE)
Dr. Nader Sadegh (ME)
Dr. David G Taylor (ECE)
Dr. Jun Ueda (ME)


There are emerging requirements for high accuracy multi-DOF actuators in numerous applications. As one of the novel motors capable of multi-DOF manipulation, permanent magnet spherical motors (PMSMs) that can provide continuous and dexterous motion in one joint have been widely studied for their advantages in structure and energy efficiency. The demands to bring forward the performance of PMSMs for precision applications have motivated this thesis to develop a closed-loop orientation control system with high accuracy and bandwidth. Unlike traditional control methods for PMSMs, which rely on explicit orientation feedback, a new control method (referred to here as direct field-feedback control or in short DFC) directly utilizing the magnetic fields for feedback have been developed in this thesis. Because magnetic field measurements are almost instantaneous and the need for real-time orientation estimation is eliminated in DFC, the system sampling time is greatly reduced. Meanwhile, several field-based methods have been developed for the major components in the DFC system and each component can be processed independently and concurrently with the magnetic field measurements. The parallel computation further improves the system bandwidth and also reduces accumulated error. The DFC system has been experimentally implemented and evaluated. The results show excellent control performances in terms of accuracy and bandwidth. To facilitate the design and analysis of the DFC system, several new algorithms have been developed, which include the modeling and computing of magnetic fields as well as forces and torques, an analysis of bijective relationship between orientation and magnetic fields, and a method for calibration and reconstruction of the rotor magnetic field in 3 dimensional space. These algorithms not only enable the implementation of the DFC system for a PMSM, but also benefit the PMSM studies in design, modeling and field-based sensing. While the immediate outcome of this research is a control system for PMSMs, this new control method can be applied to a broad spectrum of electromagnetic motion systems.