A review on model reference adaptive control of robotic manipulators

Dan Zhang, Bin Wei

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


The accuracy of the motion control for robotic mechanisms will have an effect on their overall performance. Under the condition where the robotic end-effector carries different loads, the motions for each joint of robotic mechanisms change depending on different payload masses. Conventional control systems possess the potential issue that they cannot compensate the load variation effect. Adaptive control, especially the model reference adaptive control (MRAC), has therefore been put forward to handle the above issue. Adaptive control is generally divided into three categories, model reference, self-tuning and gain-scheduled. In this study, the authors only focus on the model-reference approach. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, very few recent research articles can be found in the area of MRAC especially for robotic mechanisms since robotic system is a highly nonlinear system, and it is difficult to guarantee the stability of MRAC in such system. This study presents a review and discussion on the MRAC of robotic mechanisms and some issues of MRAC for robotic mechanisms are also demonstrated. This study can provide a guideline for upcoming research in the field of MRAC for robotic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-198
Number of pages11
JournalAnnual Reviews in Control
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Model reference adaptive control
  • Review
  • Robotic manipulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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