This paper considers the control of a variable reluctance (VR) spherical motor that offers some unique features by combining the roll, pitch and yaw motion in a single joint. The 3-DOF VR motor has multiple independent inputs, and the output torque is direction varying and orientation-dependent and as a result, the control for such a motor is significantly more challenging than the single-axis motor. We formulate a new three-degrees-of-freedom (3-DOF) VR motor control design tool using backstepping, where the inputs are optimized to achieve minimum total energy consumed. The torque has been derived as a linear combination of the square of the input currents, a form computationally friendlier than its quadratic counterpart for real-time implementation. The overall stability of the system is shown using Lyapunov techniques. Simulation results are illustrated to show the performance of the controller.

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