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Orientation-singularity analysis and orientationability evaluation of a special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 June 2013


Yi Cao
Affiliation:
School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214122, P. R. China. E-mail: caoyi@jiangnan.edu.cn; gogirls@163.com State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province 150080, P. R. China State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, P. R. China Laboratoire de Robotique, Université Laval, Québec QC G1V 0A6, Canada. E-mails: gosselin@gmc.ulaval.ca, renping@vt.edu
Clément Gosselin
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Robotique, Université Laval, Québec QC G1V 0A6, Canada. E-mails: gosselin@gmc.ulaval.ca, renping@vt.edu
Hui Zhou
Affiliation:
School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214122, P. R. China. E-mail: caoyi@jiangnan.edu.cn; gogirls@163.com
Ping Ren
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Robotique, Université Laval, Québec QC G1V 0A6, Canada. E-mails: gosselin@gmc.ulaval.ca, renping@vt.edu
Weixi Ji
Affiliation:
School of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214122, P. R. China. E-mail: caoyi@jiangnan.edu.cn; gogirls@163.com

Summary

This paper addresses the orientation-singularity analysis and the orientationability evaluation of a special class of the Stewart–Gough parallel manipulators in which the moving and base platforms are two similar semi-symmetrical hexagons. Based on the half-angle transformation, an analytical polynomial of degree 13 that represents the orientation-singularity locus of this special class of parallel manipulators at a given position is derived. Graphical representations of the orientation-singularity locus of this class of manipulators are illustrated with examples to demonstrate the results. Based on the description of the orientation-singularity and nonsingular orientation region of this class of parallel manipulators, a performance index, referred to as orientationability, which describes the orientation capability of this class of manipulators at a given position, is introduced. A discretization algorithm is proposed for computing the orientationability of the special class of parallel manipulators at a given position in the workspace. Moreover, the effects of the design parameters and position parameters on the orientationability are also investigated in detail. Based on the orientationability performance index, another performance index, referred to as practical orientationability, representing the practical orientation capability of the manipulators at a given position, is introduced. In this performance index, singularities, the limitations of active and passive joints and link interferences are all taken into consideration. Furthermore, the practical orientationability of the special class of parallel manipulators studied here is also analyzed over several plane sections of the position-workspace in detail.


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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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