Thesis (M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering) -- University of Idaho, 2015 | The focus of this thesis was the control of a three phase brushless DC motors to drive a force feedback (haptic) robotic hand in a radiological environment. Brushless motors were selected for this application because are more dependable/robust (requiring less maintenance and change-out which is difficult in radiological environments) and have a higher torque to volume ratio compared to conventional DC motors. Additionally, radiation environments also have ill effects on most conventional motor position/velocity sensors (e.g. Hall Effect sensors, encoders), thus this thesis employed resolvers in order to satisfy its feedback requirements.
This thesis describes the selected brushless DC motors and resolvers and the developed electronic hardware (driver and resolver converter) and software programs (written in LabVIEW) required in order to implement effective Space Vector Modulation and PWM modulation. Future work intends to use Field Oriented Control (FOC) and the currents from each of the three phases as extracted from a single current signal.