Force Control and Bilateral Teleoperation (EE 628)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Electronics Engineering(EE)
Volkan Pato─člu,
Click here to view.
Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture
Click here to view.


This course is designed to equip students with fundamental theories and computational methodologies that are used in (computer aided) analysis and synthesis of force controlled and bilaterally teleoperated systems. By the end of the course a solid understanding of the principles of force/bilateral control in the context of modern classical control and hands on experience with implementation of force/bilateral controllers on force feedback devices are aimed. Covered topics include fundamental limitations of feedback control, explicit force control, implicit force control, impedance control, admittance control, reaction force observers, scaled teleoperation architectures, trade-off between robust stability and transperancy, physics based simulation of virtual environments, haptics rendering, passivity of the human-in-the-loop sampled data system, destabilizing effects of communication/computation delays and approaches to compensate for these time delays, namely, time domain passivity and wave variable approaches. The course is appropriate for students in any engineering discipline with interests in robotics, nonlinear controls, and haptics.


This course is designed to equip students with fundamental theories and computational methodologies that are used in human-machine interfaces and teleoperation systems. Students will learn how to analyze and synthesize controllers for human-machine interfaces as well as how to implement them in real time.

Students will be introduced to explicit and implicit force controllers, force observers, impedance/admittance control, haptic rendering, four/two-channel teleoperator architectures, scaling and time delay in teleoperation. Fundamental limitations of feedback control systems, robust stability and transperancy tradeoff of teleoperation systems will be studied.

Primary application areas of haptic interfaces and teleoperators include rehabilitation and manual task training (including flight and surgery training). Teleoperators are also commonly employed as interfaces of micro/nano manipulators. Addition of force feedback to these interfaces improve sense of immersion in virtual environments and render virtual assistance as well as human capability enhancements possible. "X-by-wire" type concepts are other motivating applications where traditional direct mechanical controllers are replaced by their enhanced electronic implementations.

The emphasis in this course is not on the excessive mathematical abstraction but rather on an integrated understanding of modeling, analysis, synthesis, and real time implementation. A solid understanding of the major concepts in the context of modern haptic interfaces and teleoperation systems is aimed.


The goal of this course is to equip each student with an integrated understanding of fundamental theories and computational methodologies that are used in (computer aided) analysis and synthesis of force controlled and bilaterally teleoperated systems. By the end of the course, each student should be able to do the following:

Linearize nonlinear systems using small signal (Taylor series) and feedback linearization techniques.
Identify phase margin, gain margin, and vector margin of LTI systems from Bode/Nyquist plots.
Derive sensitivity and complementary sensitivity functions of MIMO LTI systems and explain fundamental limitations of feedback control.
Check for internal stability of MIMO LTI systems.
List the major challenges in explicit force control and analytically demonstrate major reasons for chatter.
Synthesize (using root locus analysis) and implement explicit force controllers with guaranteed stability.
Design and implement reaction torque observers.
Derive and implement impedance controllers with and without force feedback.
Synthesize and implement admittance controllers.
Compare several force control architectures, discuss the mechanical properties of the plant favored by each controller, and select the appropriate controller for any given plant.
Construct and formulate physics based simulations of virtual environments.
List the sources of energy leaks in haptics rendering and discuss the compensation approaches.
Implement passive haptics renderings of physics based simulation of virtual environments
Construct the 4-channel bilateral teleoperator architecture with local force feedback and demonstrate the fundamental trade-off between stability and transparency.
Compare approaches to scaled bilateral teleoperation and discuss their advantages/disadvantages.
Identify the differences between BIBO stability, Lyapunov stability, passivity, and unconditional stability.
Design and implement passivity based controllers for stable scaled teleoperator architectures.
Demonstrate destabilizing effects of time delay and discuss approaches to compensate for these effects.


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 5

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 4

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 5

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 4

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 3

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 3

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 4

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 2

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 2

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 4

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 3

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 3

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 3

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 3

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 5

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 4

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 4

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach. 5

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations. 5

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data. 5

1. Employ mathematical methods to solve physical problems and understand relevant numerical techniques. 3

2. Conduct basic experiments or simulations. 3

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data. 3

4. Establish thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of physics. 3

1. Use advanced Math (including probability and/or statistics), advanced sciences, advanced computer and programming, and advanced Electronics engineering knowledge to design and analyze complex electronics circuits, instruments, software and electronic systems with hardware/software. 5

2. Analyze and design advanced communication networks and systems, advanced signal processing algorithms or software using advanced knowledge on diff. equations, linear algebra, complex variables and discrete math. 5

1. Apply software, modeling, instrumentation, and experimental techniques and their combinations in the design and integration of electrical, electronic, control and mechanical systems. 5

2. Interact with researchers from different disciplines to exchange ideas and identify areas of research collaboration to advance the frontiers of present knowledge and technology; determine relevant solution approaches and apply them by preparing a research strategy. 5

3. Take part in ambitious and highly challenging research to generate value for both the industry and society. 5

1. Develop abstract mathematical thinking and mathematical intuition.

2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of several areas of advanced mathematics and of their interrelations.

3. Have knowledge of the fundamental and advanced concepts, principles and techniques from a range of topics.

4. The ability to tackle complex problems, reveal structures and clarify problems, discover suitable analytical and/or numerical methods and interpret solutions.

5. Analyze problems of the area of specialization, plan strategies for their solution, and apply notions and methods of abstract and/or applied mathematics to solve them.

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics. 1

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate. 1

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools. 1

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome. 1

1. Assess and identify developments, strategies, opportunities and problems in energy security and energy technologies. 1

2. Define and solve technical, economic and administrative problems in energy businesses. 1

3. Establish knowledge and understanding of energy security, energy technologies, energy markets and strategic planning in energy enterprises. 1

4. Demonstrate an awareness of environmental concerns and their importance in developing engineering solutions and new technologies. 1

5. Acquire a series of social and technical proficiencies for project management and leadership skills. 1

1. Apply a broad knowledge of structure & microstructure of all classes of materials, and the ability to use this knowledge to determine the material properties. 1

2. Apply a broad understanding of the relationships between material properties, performance and processing. 1

3. Apply a broad understanding of thermodynamics, kinetics, transport phenomena, phase transformations and materials aspects of advanced technology. 1

4. Demonstrate hands-on experience using a wide range of materials characterization techniques. 1

5. Demonstrate the use of results from interpreted data to improve the quality of research, a product, or a product in materials science and engineering. 1

1. Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in computer science and engineering related problems. 3

2. Display knowledge of contemporary issues in computer science and engineering and apply to a particular problem. 1

3. Demonstrate the use of results from interpreted data to improve the quality of research or a product in computer science and engineering. 1

1. Apply knowledge of key concepts in biology, with an emphasis on molecular genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology. 1

2. Display an awareness of the contemporary biological issues in relation with other scientific areas. 1

3. Demonstrate hands-on experience in a wide range of biological experimental techniques. 1



Research papers, book chapters, and supplementary material are assigned throughout the term.

Course Web