Controlled synchronization: A Huygens' inspired approach

J. Pena Ramirez, A. Denasi, A. Rodriguez-Angeles, J. Alvarez Gallegos, H. Nijmeijer, K. Aihara

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers synchronization as a control problem. In particular, a (robust) controller for achieving synchronization in pairs of second order nonlinear systems is designed. The design is inspired by the classical experiment on synchronization of pendulum clocks, as described by Christiaan Huygens. In the proposed control scheme, the systems do not interact directly but through an exogenous system. Ultimately, it is demonstrated that Huygens' controller, can be used to perform in-phase and anti-phase synchronized tasks, with the advantage that 'small' control gains are required. The stability of the closed-loop system is analyzed using perturbation theory and the proposed controller is experimentally validated on a pair of Cartesian robots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3098-3103
Number of pages6
JournalIFAC Proceedings Volumes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC 2014 World Congress) - Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 24 Aug 201429 Aug 2014
Conference number: 19

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗Collaborative Research Center for Innovative Mathematical Modelling, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan (email: ∗∗Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands (email: ∗∗∗Research Center for Advanced Studies (Cinvestav-IPN), Mechatronics Group, Mexico, D.F. (email: ∗∗∗∗Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education at Ensenada, Mexico (CICESE), Carretera Ensenada-Tijuana No. 3918, Zona Playitas, C.P. 22860, Ensenada, B.C. Mexico. (e-mail: †(email: ‡(email:


  • Control applications
  • Controlled synchronization
  • Huygens' controller
  • Perturbation theory
  • Robust control
  • Second order systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlled synchronization: A Huygens' inspired approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this