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.

Variable Degree-of-Freedom Spatial Mechanisms Composed of Four Circular Translation Joints

Abstract

This paper deals with the construction and reconfiguration analysis of a spatial mechanism composed of four circular translation (G) joints. Two links connected by a G joint, which can be in different forms such as a planar parallelogram, translate along a circular trajectory with respect to each other. A spatial 4G mechanism, which is composed of four G joints, usually has one degree-of-freedom (DOF). First, a 2-DOF spatial 4G mechanism is constructed. Then, a novel variable-DOF spatial 4G mechanism is constructed starting from the 2-DOF 4G mechanism using the approach based on screw theory. Finally, the reconfiguration analysis is carried out in the configuration space using dual quaternions and tools from algebraic geometry. The analysis shows that the variable-DOF spatial 4G mechanism has one 2-DOF motion mode and one to two 1-DOF motion modes and reveals how the 4G mechanism can switch among these motion modes. By removing one link from two adjacent G joints each and two links from each of the remaining two G joints, we can obtain a queer-rectangle and a queer-parallelogram, which are the generalization of the queer-square or derivative queer-square in the literature. The approach in this paper can be extended to the analysis of other types of coupled mechanisms using cables and gears and multi-mode spatial mechanisms involving G joints.
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