Energy efficient, lightweight robot arms for space applications have considerable structural flexibility. For large and fast motions, both the nonlinear coupled dynamics and the elastic behavior of the robots must be considered in control system designs. This paper presents an approach to the control of a class of flexible robotic systems. A control law is derived which decouples the joint-angle motion from the flexible motion and asymptotically decomposes the elastic dynamics into two sub-systems, representing the transverse vibrations of the elastic link in two orthogonal planes. This decomposition allows the design of an elastic mode stabilizer independently based on lower order models representing structural flexibility. The closed-loop system is shown to be globally asymptotically stable and robust to uncertainty in system parameters. Simulation results are presented to show that large, fast control of joint angles can be performed in spite of space vehicle motion and uncertainty in the payload.

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