Model-based real-time control of a magnetic manipulator system

Jan Willem Damsteeg, Subramanya P. Nageshrao, Robert Babuška

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Precise magnetic manipulation has numerous applications, ranging from manufacturing to the medical field. Owing to the nonlinear nature of the electromagnetic force, magnetic manipulation requires advanced nonlinear control. In this paper, we design and experimentally evaluate two nonlinear controllers for a magnetic manipulation (Magman) system, which consists of four electromagnetic coils arranged linearly. The current through the coils is controlled in order to accurately position a steel ball, rolling freely in a track above the coils. We benchmark two nonlinear control methods, namely feedback linearization and a constrained state-dependent Riccati equation (SDRE) control. These methods are chosen due to their widespread use in academia as well as industrial applications. On the actual setup, constrained SDRE has performed considerably better in terms of the settling time, overshoot, and the amount of control effort when compared to feedback linearization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 2017 IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control (CDC 2017)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, USA
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-2873-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-2874-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCDC 2017: 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 12 Dec 201715 Dec 2017


ConferenceCDC 2017: 56th IEEE Annual Conference on Decision and Control
OtherThe CDC is recognized as the premier scientific and engineering conference dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practice of systems and control. The CDC annually brings together an international community of researchers and practitioners in the field of automatic control to discuss new research results, perspectives on future developments, and innovative applications relevant to decision making, systems and control, and related areas.
Internet address


  • Coils
  • Mathematical model
  • Force
  • Steel
  • Position measurement
  • Manipulators

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