Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 March 2009
This paper presents a systematic approach to the time-optimal motion planning of a cooperative two robot system along a prescribed path. First, the minimum-time motion planning problem is formulated in a concise form by parameterizing the dynamics of the robot system through a single variable describing the path. The constraints imposed on the input actuator torques and the exerted forces on the object are then converted into those on that variable, which result in the so-called admissible region in the phase plane of the variable. Considering the load distribution problem that is also involved in the motion, we present a systematic method to construct the admissible region by employing the orthogonal projection technique and the theory of multiple objective optimization. Especially, the effects of viscous damping and state-dependent actuator bounds are incorporated into the problem formulation so that the case where the admissible region is not simply connected can be investigated in detail. The resultant time-optimal solution specifies not only the velocity profile, but also the force assigned to each robot at each instant. Physical interpretation on the characteristics of the optimal actuator torques is also included with computer simulation results.