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Automation of earth moving machineries is a widely studied problem. This paper focusses on one of the main challenges in automation of the earth moving industry, estimation of loading torque acting on the machinery. Loading torque acting on the excavation machinery is a very significant aspect in terms of both machine and operator safety. In this study, a disturbance observer-assisted control system for the estimation of loading torque acting on a robotic backhoe during excavation process is presented. The proposed observer does not use any acceleration measurements, rather, is proposed as a function of joint velocity. Numerical simulations are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme in tracking the reaction torques for a given dig cycle. Co-simulation experiments demonstrate robust performance and accurate tracking of the proposed control in both disturbance torque and position tracking. Further, the performance and sensitivity of the proposed control are also analyzed through the help of performance error quantifiers, the root-mean-square (RMS) values of the position and disturbance tracking errors.
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