The overall objective of this research is to advance the programmable
motion control of pneumatic drives. Enhanced performance characteristics
and improved parameter tuning facilities have been evolved for a new
generation of pneumatic servos. The evolution has been achieved with
specific reference to the application of pneumatics in the motion control
of modular robots and other modular machines.
The research has been largely experimentally-based with complementary new
modelling studies providing a basis for suggesting and explaining the
control strategies evolved. Novel realtime control algorithms have been
implemented and their associated performance characteristics
The algorithms have provided technological advance with respect to
(i) minimising drift and hysteresis in the drive system through
compensating and automating the system null conditions;
(ii) optimising the positioning time through use of learning procedure;
(iii) achieving velocity control through "null velocity" compensation and
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.