Publication Detail

A new design for parallel link manipulators

Samuel E. Landsberger, Thomas B Sheridan
MITSG 85-16J

Conventional mechanical manipulators for robots, space or undersea teleoperators are patterned after the human arm. Successive arm segments are connected in series; both actuators and linkages of more distal (toward the hand) segments are mounted on more proximal segments which must bear the load of everything distal. Mechanical backlash and control errors for successive joints add. Achieving rigidity and strength at the hand (or end) effector of a serial link manipulator is costly in terms of precision, weight and dollars. These limitations may be avoided by a parallel link mechanism. A new manipulator arm configuration is described wherein six degrees-of-freedom are obtained via one passive compressive spine and six active tension cables, all position-controlled in parallel. This design has the advantages that all motors can be mounted at the base; the mass of the arm can be reduced substantially; greater rigidity and speed can be achieved; and the inverse Jacobian required for control is easy to calculate.

type: Technical reports

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