The improved control of a steering wheel vibration simulator capable of reproducing a set of desired vibration/acceleration signals is presented. The simulator is to be used in characterizing human perception of vibration as transmitted to the hand through the steering wheel. Accelerometers are used to record the acceleration at the top of the steering wheel in both the up-down (z) and side-to-side (y) directions. The plant is modeled by frequency response measurements including an uncertainty model generated from measured changes in system frequency response due to variations in subject grip force. The simulator control problem is formulated as a 2-input, 1-output tracking control of the z-axis while minimizing the y-axis response. A two degree-of-freedom controller is synthesized with a stabilizing feedback controller and a zero phase error tracking feedforward controller. The feedback controller is designed using linear matrix inequality techniques and ensures robust stability of the coupled closed-loop system with uncertainty due to subject grip force. Simulation and experimental results to verify the effectiveness of the simulator are presented.

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