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Events 27 May 2021 By Vargas

Electronic wheel steering

Alessandro N. Vargas


This page presents a project that will soon be built at UTFPR to increase our knowledge of electric power steering. The project consists of building up a frame that will hold an automotive electric power steering. All the parts will be original, removed from a vehicle.

Disturbances caused by irregularities on the road and varying mechanical friction can induce problems in controlling the torque of motors in electric power steering systems. Such stochastic disturbances are a challenge for the application of control techniques. The automotive electric power steering will allow us to illustrate, in practice, those control strategies.

The idea is to build a structure that will allow us to assemble one electric power steering (EPS) system removed from a vehicle, model Ford Ka 2017 car. The facility will preserve all the mechanical features of the vehicle. This project allows us to develop control techniques to improve the direction systems.

Having the system assembled, we will work in the electronic circuit responsible for controlling all the systems. The corresponding electronic devices will read the sensors' data and will drive the electric engine whenever necessary. The original electronic control unit (ECU) of the vehicle was discharged. Here, we build our technology. We should generate a mathematical model capable of describing all the system's behaviors associated with this technological problem.

Using mathematical models, we will study different control techniques and decide which one has the best results. In our setup, the "best" will be given by some index. In short, we will work on controlling the system, deciding which control law should be applied.

The electric system column has two sensors, one to measure the torque applied to the steering wheel and another to measure the steering wheel's angle. These two data need to be acquired and processed correctly because the control technique's success relies on this data. To receive and process this data, we will use an AtMega328 microcontroller, which will be the system's brain. Based on this data, the microcontroller will decide how much torque and direction the engine will use.

testbed under construction.
Figure 1: Picture of the testbed under construction.

At this moment (Jun, 2021), the structure is built and the automotive parts are being assembled in the structure. Supervision: Prof. Marcio A. F. Montezuma