Robust control of dielectric elastomer diaphragm actuator for human pulse signal tracking

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Ye, Zhihang
Chen, Zheng
Asmatulu, Ramazan
Chan, Hoyin

Ye, Zhihang; Chen, Zheng; Asmatulu, Ramazan; Chan, Hoyin. 2017. Robust control of dielectric elastomer diaphragm actuator for human pulse signal tracking. Smart Materials and Structures, vol. 26:no. 8


Human pulse signal tracking is an emerging technology that is needed in traditional Chinese medicine. However, soft actuation with multi-frequency tracking capability is needed for tracking human pulse signal. Dielectric elastomer (DE) is one type of soft actuating that has great potential in human pulse signal tracking. In this paper, a DE diaphragm actuator was designed and fabricated to track human pulse pressure signal. A physics-based and control-oriented model has been developed to capture the dynamic behavior of DE diaphragm actuator. Using the physical model, an H-infinity robust control was designed for the actuator to reject high-frequency sensing noises and disturbances. The robust control was then implemented in realtime to track a multi-frequency signal, which verified the tracking capability and robustness of the control system. In the human pulse signal tracking test, a human pulse signal was measured at the City University of Hong Kong and then was tracked using DE actuator at Wichita State University in the US. Experimental results have verified that the DE actuator with its robust control is capable of tracking human pulse signal.

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