Direct position analysis (DPA) of parallel manipulators (PMs) is in general difficult to solve. Over on PMs’ topology, DPA complexity depends on the choice of the actuated joints. From an analytic point of view, the system of algebraic equations that one must solve to implement PMs’ DPA is usually expressible in an apparently simple form, but such a form does not allow an analytic solution and even the problem formalization is relevant in PMs’ DPAs. The ample literature on the DPA of Stewart platforms well documents this point. This paper addresses the DPA of a particular translational PM of 3-URU type, which has the actuators on the frame while the actuated joints are not adjacent to the frame. The problem formulation brings to a closure-equation system consisting of three irrational equations in three unknowns. Such a system is transformed into an algebraic system of four quadratic equations in four unknowns that yields a univariate irrational equation in one of the four unknowns and three explicit expressions of the remaining three unknowns. Then, an algorithm is proposed which is able to find only the real solutions of the DPA. The proposed solution technique can be applied to other DPAs reducible to a similar system of irrational equations and, as far as this author is aware, is novel.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues