This paper presents a nonlinear, robust control algorithm for accurate positioning of a single degree of freedom rotary manipulator actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA). A model for an SMA actuated manipulator is presented. The model includes nonlinear dynamics of the manipulator, a constitutive model of Shape Memory Alloy, and electrical and heat transfer behavior of SMA wire. This model is used for open and closed loop motion simulations of the manipulator. Experiments are presented that show results similar to both closed and open loop simulation results. Due to modeling uncertainty and nonlinear behavior of the system, classic control methods such as Proportional-Integral-Derivative control are not able to present fast and accurate performance. Hence a nonlinear, robust control algorithm is presented based on Variable Structure Control. This algorithm is a control gain switching technique based on the weighted average of position and velocity feedbacks. This method has been designed through simulation and tested experimentally. Results show fast, accurate, and robust performance of the control system. Computer simulation and experimental results for different stabilization and tracking situations are also presented.

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