This paper presents a new design method of a nonlinear feedforward controller for electrohydraulic actuators with asymmetric piston areas. While the use of flatness based inversion of the plant model to design a feedforward controller has been reported for electrohydraulic actuators with symmetric piston area, the extension of this method to actuators with asymmetric piston areas is non-trivial. In asymmetric electrohydraulic actuators, the areas of the hydraulic piston are different in the two chambers, and hence, the amount of fluid going into one chamber of the actuator is not equal to the amount of fluid coming out of the other. This asymmetry leads to loss of flatness, and hence, flatness based inversion of the plant is no longer possible. In this paper, we present a method for calculation of the feedforward control signal for a given trajectory by numerically solving the inverse problem for the system. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed feedforward controller by simulation of trajectory tracking in an asymmetric electrohydraulic actuator. For benchmarking, the tracking performance has been compared with three other feedforward schemes: a linearized model based Zero Phase Error Tracking (ZPET) feedforward controller, a nonlinear feedforward controller implementing an approximate plant inversion based on differential flatness, and a pressure feedback based feedforward controller.

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