In this work, a new drive concept for brushless direct current (BLDC) motors is introduced. Energy regeneration is optimally managed with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of robot motion controls. The proposed scheme has three independent regenerative drives interconnected in a wye configuration. An augmented model of the robot, joint mechanisms, and BLDC motors is formed, and then a voltage-based control scheme is developed. The control law is obtained by specifying an outer-loop torque controller followed by minimization of power consumption via online constrained quadratic optimization. An experiment is conducted to assess the performance of the proposed concept against an off-the-shelf driver. It is shown that, in terms of energy regeneration and consumption, the developed driver has better performance. Furthermore, the proposed concept showed a reduction of 15% energy consumption for the conditions of the study.

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