Design and Control of Torque Feedback Device for Driving Simulator Based on MR Fluid and Coil Spring Structure

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0689

  • 2018-04-03
Since steering wheel torque feedback is one of the crucial factors for drivers to gain road feel and ensure driving safety, it is especially important to simulate the steering torque feedback for a driving simulator. At present, steering wheel feedback torque is mainly simulated by an electric motor with gear transmission, the torque response of the system is often slow, with obvious time delay, which can result in drivers' discomfort and poor driving maneuverability. The feedback torque in general consists of spring torque, damping torque and inertial torque, which can be produced by an electric motor directly. The magnitude and direction of spring torque and damping torque may change due to the rotation of steering wheel, which can result in sudden changes in magnitude and direction of the total torque, therefore electric motor cannot accurately and rapidly output the feedback torque due to its inertia and delay. This paper presents a novel torque feedback device with magnetorheological (MR) fluid and coil spring, the damping of MR fluid can be adjusted by controlling the current of excitation coil, the angle of coil spring can be adjusted by controlling the brushless DC motor. A phase separation control method is also proposed to control its feedback torque, stiffness and damping of the novel torque feedback device are controlled respectively. The spring torque is generated by coil spring, the damping torque is generated by MR fluid, the two are independently controlled, and the damping torque can compensate the total torque. When steering wheel rotates, coil spring and MR fluid can quickly change the magnitude and direction of their each torque due to elastic properties and rheological properties, the total torque also changes naturally due to the superposition of them, no sudden changes of control parameters occur in the control process, therefore the novel device can quickly and accurately output feedback torque. Simulation has been conducted to compare the proposed device and control method with the systems under conventional approaches, the results show that the feedback torque from the proposed device has smaller time delay and overshoot, and can greatly improve the response and accuracy of the torque feedback for automobile driving simulator.
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