Dr Joel Ferguson
Uncontrollable disturbances can have a large influence on the way dynamic systems behave. Weather it is the ripple effects of main power influencing en electrical network, or the unknown load on a robotic manipulator, these types of uncontrollable inputs must be either isolated or controlled in order to guarantee system performance. Joel is interested in studying the effects of these types of disturbances on passive systems and deriving methods of active compensation. This direction of research utilities tools from passive systems theory and adaptive control theory.
Nonholonomic systems refers physical systems that are constrained in the ways that they can move. A classical example of such a system is a car, which is designed in such a way as to avoid slipping in the sideways direction. Joel is interested in applying classical energy-based control techniques, such as energy shaping, to this class of constrained system. However, direct application of these techniques is not possible due to Brockett’s condition for smooth stabilisation. This line of work has investigated using switching and discontinuous energy-shaping methods, applied to this class of systems.