The goal of control law design for haptic displays is to provide a safe and stable user interface while maximizing the operator's sense of kinesthetic immersion in a virtual environment. This paper outlines a control design approach which stabilizes a haptic interface when coupled to a broad class of human operators and virtual environments. Two-port absolute stability criteria are used to develop explicit control law design bounds for two different haptic display implementations: impedance display and admittance display. The strengths and weaknesses of each approach are illustrated through numerical and experimental results for a three degree-of-freedom device. The example highlights the ability of the proposed design procedure to handle some of the more difficult problems in control law synthesis for haptics, including structural flexibility and noncollocation of sensors and actuators.
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