Development of an intelligent pneumatic cylinder for distributed physical human-machine interaction

Ahmad Athif Mohd Faudzi, Koichi Suzumori, Shuichi Wakimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Pneumatic systems are well known for their advantages and simplicity, and have been applied in various applications. This paper presents the development and experimental evaluation of an intelligent pneumatic cylinder and its control system. The cylinder is designed to have an optical encoder, pressure sensor, valve and a Programmable System on a Chip (PSoC) as the central processing unit. The PSoC will handle I2C communication, input and output data from the analogue to digital converter, counter program and pulse width modulation (PWM) duty cycle. An application tool for a distributed physical human-machine interaction is proposed using an intelligent pneumatic cylinder. The system applied 36 links of the actuator to form an Intelligent Chair Tool (ICT). The control methodology presented contains an inner force loop and an outer position loop implemented using a unified control system driven by PWM to an on/off valve. In this research, four control approaches, i.e., position control, force control, compliance control and viscosity control, were constructed and experimented. The physical properties of various objects were also detected by the intelligent cylinder through the detecting function experiment. Finally, an emulation experiment using mass was carried out and the results clearly show the ability of the intelligent cylinder, and the control approaches towards realization of the future ICT application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-225
Number of pages23
JournalAdvanced Robotics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Human adaptive mechanism
  • Intelligent actuator
  • Intelligent pneumatic cylinder
  • Physical human-machine interaction
  • Pneumatic cylinder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications


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