This paper studies the stiffness and experiment of a five-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) hybrid, serial–parallel, manipulator, with all rotating axes being continuous: TriRhino. First, the motion principle of the hybrid manipulator is introduced and the structural design is presented. Next, the stiffness analysis of the hybrid manipulator is carried out. Specifically, a stiffness test, based on prototype and loading device, is performed, proving that the real stiffness is lower than that obtained by the finite element analysis. Following, the main geometric parameters, involving error, are determined, while the real values of the parameters with an error are identified, through performed calibration experiments. Finally, the measurement results show that the positioning accuracy of the manipulator is significantly improved, after kinematic calibration. Moreover, machining experiments on a workpiece show the great ability of the proposed manipulator, in machining parts with curved surface; thus, great application prospects, in the machining of structural parts with complex surfaces, are quite realistic.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues