A parallel system-on-chip approach for impedance controller for a 7-DoF robotic hand


Robotic hands tend to have a high number of sensors and actuators in a small space, whose supervising and control must be performed at the same time with precision and, in some cases, at high speed. Usually, a grid of Micro-Processors-Units or Micro-Controller-Units (MCUs) is employed to solve this problem, given the ease of programming. However, this solution can carry some drawbacks like the necessity of more space for computer resources. This work introduces a System-on-Chip based approach that carries out the control of a robotic hand with multiple Degree of Freedom. In order to justify its advantages, the proposed solution was tested in a robotic hand and compared against other implementations on (a) an ATMEL microcontroller, (b) an ARM processor, and (c) a full-dedicated hardware architecture on FPGA. Comparisons were made in terms of performance, computational resources, and power consumption. Additionally, our results showed an improvement over a previous MCU-Grid-based hand controller that achieved a control loop frequency of 1 KHz. In contrast, the proposed SoC approach achieved a 47.26 kHz frequency, showing the advantages of using our parameterizable floating-point arithmetic cores, which allow the designer to adjust the word-width to optimize both the hardware resources and energy consumption.

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This work was supported by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel of Brazil (CAPES) and the Foundation of Support to Research of the Federal District (FAPDF). The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their contributions, which greatly improved the quality of the present work.

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Correspondence to Sergio A. Pertuz.

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Pertuz, S.A., Llanos, C., Peña, C. et al. A parallel system-on-chip approach for impedance controller for a 7-DoF robotic hand. Analog Integr Circ Sig Process 106, 195–204 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10470-020-01652-7

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  • FPGA
  • Impedance controller
  • Kalman filter
  • Modular architecture
  • Robotic hand
  • SoC-System on a chip