Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Statically Balancing a Reconfigurable Mechanism by Using One Passive Energy Element Only: A Case Study
    by Kuo C, Nguyen V, Robertson D, et al. on April 19, 2021 at 12:00 am

    AbstractThis paper presents the static balancing design of a special reconfigurable linkage that can switch between two one-degree-of-freedom (DoF) working configurations. We will show that the studied dual-mode linkage only requires one mechanical spring or one counterweight for completely balancing its gravitational effect in theory at both modes. First, the theoretical models of the spring-based and the counterweight-based designs are derived. The proposed design concepts were then demonstrated by a numerical example and validated by software simulation. Experimental tests on both designs were also performed. The result of this study shows that a reconfigurable mechanism with N working configurations can be completely statically balanced by using less than N passive energy elements.

  • Multiparameter Real-World System Identification Using Iterative Residual Tuning
    by Allevato A, Pryor M, Thomaz AL. on April 19, 2021 at 12:00 am

    AbstractIn this work, we consider the problem of nonlinear system identification using data to learn multiple and often coupled parameters that allow a simulator to more accurately model a physical system or mechanism and close the so-called reality gap for more accurate robot control. Our approach uses iterative residual tuning (IRT), a recently developed derivative-free system identification technique that utilizes neural networks and visual observation to estimate parameter differences between a proposed model and a target model. We develop several modifications to the basic IRT approach and apply it to the system identification of a five-parameter model of a marble rolling in a robot-controlled labyrinth game mechanism. We validate our technique both in simulation—where we outperform two baselines—and on a real system, where we achieve marble tracking error of 4% after just five optimization iterations.

  • Exploiting Redundancies for Workspace Enlargement and Joint Trajectory Optimization of a Kinematically Redundant Hybrid Parallel Robot
    by Wen K, Gosselin C. on April 19, 2021 at 12:00 am

    AbstractIn this paper, possibilities for workspace enlargement and joint trajectory optimization of a (6 + 3)-degree-of-freedom kinematically redundant hybrid parallel robot are investigated. The inverse kinematic problem of the robot can be solved analytically, which is a desirable property of redundant robots, and is implemented in the investigations. A new method for detecting mechanical interferences between two links which are not directly connected is proposed for evaluating the workspace. Redundant degrees-of-freedom are optimized in order to further expand the workspace. An approach for determining the desired redundant joint coordinates is developed so that a performance index can be minimized approximately when the robot is following a prescribed Cartesian trajectory. The presented approaches are readily applicable to other kinematically redundant hybrid parallel robots proposed by the authors.

Geometric Constraint-Based Reconfiguration and Self-Motions of a Four-CRU Parallel Mechanism

Abstract

Over the past few years, the concept of multi-directional three-dimensional (3D) printing has been introduced to print complex shapes and overhang geometry. This technique requires the nozzle to constantly change orientation to print the object along its tangential direction. A six-degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) robotic arm or Stewart platform can be a solution, but these mechanisms use more components and motors. An alternative solution has been proposed in this paper based on a four-CRU (cylindrical, revolute, and universal joints) mechanism. This mechanism can orient the nozzle by switching into different motion types with minimal numbers of motors while keeping the mechanism rigid and agile. Therefore, analyses of the reconfiguration, workspace, singularities, and self-motions of a four-CRU mechanism presented in this paper have become necessities. By using primary decomposition, four geometric constraints have been identified, and the reconfiguration analysis has been carried out in each of these. It reveals that each geometric constraint will have three distinct operation modes, namely Schönflies mode, reversed Schönflies mode, and an additional mode. The additional mode can either be a four-DOF mode or a degenerated three-DOF mode, depending on the type of geometric constraints. By taking into account the actuation and constraint singularities, the workspace of each operation mode has been analyzed and geometrically illustrated. It allows us to determine the regions in which the reconfiguration takes place. Furthermore, the inherent self-motion in the Schönflies mode is revealed and illustrated, which occurs at two specified actuated leg lengths. Demonstration of the reconfiguration process and self-motions is provided through a mock-up prototype.
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