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Kinematic calibration and feedforward control of a heavy-load manipulator using parameters optimization by an ant colony algorithm

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2024

Xinpei Wang
School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Foshan University, Foshan, 528225, China
Lingbo Xie
School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Foshan University, Foshan, 528225, China
Mian Jiang*
School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Foshan University, Foshan, 528225, China
Kuanfang He
School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Foshan University, Foshan, 528225, China
Yong Chen
School of Mechatronics Engineering and Automation, Foshan University, Foshan, 528225, China
Corresponding author: Mian Jiang; Email:


Most of the currently available three-degree-of-freedom manipulators are light load and cannot achieve full continuous rotation; given this, we designed a heavy-load manipulator that achieves unrestricted and continuous rotation. Due to manufacturing and assembly errors, parameter deviations between the real manipulator and its underlying theoretical model were unavoidable. Because of the lack of high-precision, high-frequency, and real-time closed-loop detection methods, we proposed a type of kinematics calibration of parameterized ant colony optimization and feedforward control methods. This was done to achieve high-precision motion control. First, an error model combining structural parameters and joint output angles was established, and the global sensitivity of each error source was analyzed to distinguish both primary and secondary sources. Based on the measured data of a laser tracker, the ant colony optimization was then used to identify six error sources. This resulted in both link length and joint driving errors of the designed manipulator. As it is a type of systematic error, the rounding error of the theoretical trajectory was carefully analyzed, and feedforward control methods with different coefficients were designed to further improve positioning accuracy based on the kinematic calibration. Experimental results showed that the proposed kinematic calibration and feedforward control methods achieved relatively precise motion control for the designed manipulator.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press

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