An adaptive controller is developed for a class of nonlinear systems for which other approaches (e.g. backstepping) may fail to be applicable. The new design employs feedback passivation and an explicit construction of a Lyapunov function for the zero dynamics with respect to a relative degree one output. As an illustration a longstanding 'nonlinear benchmark problem' is solved. ©1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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