This paper is devoted to the control and identification of a manipulator with three anti-parallelogram joints in series, referred to as X-joints. Each X-joint is a tensegrity one-degree-of-freedom mechanism antagonistically actuated with cables and springs in parallel. As compared to manipulators built with simple revolute joints in series, manipulators with tensegrity X-joint offer a number of advantages, such as an intrinsic stability, variable stiffness, and lower inertia. This design was inspired by the musculosleketon architecture of the bird’s neck, which is known to be very dextrous. A test-bed prototype is presented and used to test computed torque control laws. Friction and cable elasticity are modeled and identified. Their effect on the performance of control laws is analyzed. It is shown that in the context of antagonistic actuation and lightweight design, friction plays a leading role and the significance of modeling cable elasticity is discussed.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues