The energy consumption of network interfaces in networked control systems (NCSs) must be reduced for sustainability. The sleep mechanisms of energy-efficient network interfaces for networked motor control systems, in which controller and motor devices are connected by communication networks, have attracted much interest in recent years. They reduce the energy consumption of network interfaces by making the transmitters installed on the controller and motor devices enter a sleep period when no data are to be transmitted. In a conventional send-on-delta (SoD)-based sleep control method, the network interfaces decide when to enter the sleep period based on the variations of the control input and response values. Although this method effectively reduces the communication rate for reducing energy consumption, it does not explicitly consider the quality of performance (QoP) or control performance such as tracking errors. In high-precision motion control systems, ensuring a certain QoP level is crucial. This study proposes a QoP-aware sleep control method for energy-efficient networked motor control systems to maintain the QoP at a certain level while operating the sleep mechanism. Here, the QoP is defined as the tracking error between the command and the response values. In the proposed method, network interfaces decide when to enter the sleep period based on the tracking error. Experimental results confirm that the QoP-aware sleep control method outperforms the SoD-based sleep control method in terms of the tracking errors (i.e., integral square error and steady-state error) at the expense of increased communication rates.
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