Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Information and Communication

System Control Technology Based on Mathematical Methods


  • Koichi Kobayashi Associate Professor

From mechanical to energy management systems

System control technology based on mathematical models can be applied to a wide range of fields, from mechanical systems such as four-wheeled robots to social systems such as energy management systems. At this laboratory, we are developing control methods for nonlinear and hybrid systems in particular.

Content of research

Many systems, such as manipulators and automobile engines, are nonlinear systems. Many conventional methods are created in view of individual cases. In this laboratory, we are developing a unified control method using control Lyapunov functions. As an example, we are considering the development of a four-wheeled robot running on a flat surface (Fig. 1). To achieve obstacle avoidance and movement to the target position, a pseudo height difference is set (Fig. 2). The obstacles are positioned high and the target is positioned low. This allows four-wheeled robots to achieve their control objectives with only one simple rule of following the low position.
Dynamical systems that include switching of dynamics are called hybrid systems, and are known to have many applications. Recently, we have been working on the application of hybrid systems to energy management systems. In particular, we are developing an electricity consumption model for consumers.

  • Fig. 1 Four-wheeled robot

  • Fig. 2 Example of setting a height difference (control Lyapunov)

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Control of industrial manipulators
  • ・Automatic driving of automobiles
  • ・Development of Automated Demand Response (ADR) equipment

Appealing points to industry and local governments

System control technology is an extremely versatile technology that is independent on the target. For this reason, there is the impression that it is mathematical and difficult. However, the correct use of system control technology can lead to improved performance (i.e., cost improvement) in many situations. Our laboratory is one of the leading research centers in Japan in the field of system control, and we have ample knowledge in this field.