Maneuverability improvement of front-drive personal welfare vehicle STAVi using a model error compensator

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Maruno Y., Zengin A. T., Okajima H., Matsunaga N., Nakamura N.

Nihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C, vol.79, no.808, pp.4721-4733, 2013 (Scopus) identifier


Electric-powered personal vehicles have been used as a convenient transportation device. A front-drive-type personal vehicle STAVi, that is easy for elderly but also disabled persons, to climb on from a bed has been focused on. However, front-drive-type personal vehicles are difficult to operate because their over-steering characteristic is strong owing to free casters. If the vehicle can be driven by an easy joy-stick operation, it will be a comfortable function for all users. In previous studies, we proposed a simple modeling error compensator which achieves a desired driving characteristics using a simple reference model, and the effectiveness was evaluated by simulations. In this paper, we propose a control system for STAVi using a modeling error compensator with a non-linear reference model to realize a comfortable under-steering characteristics. At first, the advantage of proposed controller is summarized. The STAVi's over-steering characteristic is modified to be under-steering one by proposed controller. As an experimental result, the additional assistance is necessary for a beginner. The phase-lead compensator for beginners is designed to adjust the maneuverability depending on the skill level. The maneuverability is evaluated by driving experiments on the slope. © 2013 The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers.