Compact and robust variable reluctance actuator for grasping applications

Chow Norbert Cheung

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Variable reluctance actuators have a simple and robust structure, and they are widely used as a low cost switching actuators in many applications. However, they have not gained widespread acceptance as proportional actuators due to their inherent nonlinear control characteristics. In this paper, a robust, compact and easy-to-manufacture grasping actuator based on variable reluctance (VR) technology is presented. Using a novel control strategy, the actuator can be operated in position, velocity, and force control modes. This makes the actuator ideal for high speed grasping of delicate objects in robotics applications. The paper describes the construction, and operating principle of the VR grasping finger. It also describes the fabrication and the measurement of essential electrical and mechanical characteristics of the actuator. Then, a novel nonlinear control algorithm for multi-mode control of position, velocity, and force has been proposed. The proposed algorithm is implemented on a DSP system to control the VR grasping finger in various motion control modes. Results from the implementation show that the VR grasping finger can be controlled with a high degree of speed and accuracy, and the application of force on the object in force control mode is stable and accurate.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIECON Proceedings (Industrial Electronics Conference)
PublisherIEEE Comp Soc
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 24th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON. Part 4 (of 4) - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 31 Aug 19984 Sept 1998


ConferenceProceedings of the 1998 24th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON. Part 4 (of 4)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Compact and robust variable reluctance actuator for grasping applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this