Research Article Open Access

Design of a Distributed Control System Using a Personal Computer and Micro Control Units for Humanoid Robots

Mitsuhiro Yamano1, Akihiro Ochiai1, Yuichi Suzukawa1, Hanafiah Yussof1, Masahiro Ohka1 and Yasuo Nasu1
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Journal of Computer Science
Volume 6 No. 8, 2010, 880-885


Submitted On: 5 May 2010
Published On: 31 August 2010

How to Cite: Yamano, M., Ochiai, A., Suzukawa, Y., Yussof, H., Ohka, M. & Nasu, Y. (2010). Design of a Distributed Control System Using a Personal Computer and Micro Control Units for Humanoid Robots. Journal of Computer Science, 6(8), 880-885.


Problem statement: Humanoid robots have many motors and sensors and many control methods are used to carry out complicated tasks of the robots. Therefore, efficient control systems are required for the robots. Approach: This study presented a distributed control system using a Personal Computer (PC) and Micro Control Units (MCUs) for humanoid robots. Distributed control systems have the advantages that parallel processing using multiple computers is possible and cables in the system can be short. For the control of the humanoid robots, required functions of the control system were discussed. Based on the discussion, the hardware of the system including a PC and MCUs was proposed. The system was designed to carry out the process of the robot control efficiently. The system can be expanded easily by increasing the number of MCU boards. The software of the system for feedback control of the motors and the communication between the computers was proposed. Flexible switching of motor control methods can be achieved easily. Results: Experiments were performed to show the effectiveness of the system. The sampling frequency of the whole system can be about 0.5 kHz and that in local MCUs can be about 10 kHz. Control method of the motor can be changed during the motion in an experiment controlling four joints of the robot. Conclusion: The results of the experiments showed that the distributed control system proposed in this study is effective for humanoid robots.



  • Robot control system
  • MCU board
  • parallel processing
  • motor driver
  • communication