Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 May 2012
Performance evaluation of a parallel robot is a multicriteria problem. By taking Delta robot as an object of study, this paper presents the kinematic performance evaluation of a three translational degrees-of-freedom parallel robot from the viewpoint of singularity, isotropy, and velocity transmission. It is shown that the determinant of a Jacobian matrix cannot measure the distance from the singular configuration due to the existing inverse kinematic singularity of a Delta robot. The determinants of inverse and direct kinematic Jacobian matrices are adopted for the measurement of distance from the singular configuration based on the theory of numerical linear dependence. The denominator of the Jacobian matrix will be lost in the computation of the condition number when the end-effector is on the centerline of the workspace, so the Delta robot may also be nearly at a singular configuration when the condition number of the Jacobian matrix is equal to 1. The velocity transmission index whose physical meaning is the maximum input angular velocity when the end-effector translates in the unit velocity is presented. The evaluation of singularity, isotropy, and velocity transmission of a Delta robot is investigated by simulation. The velocity transmission index can also be used for the velocity transmission evaluation of a parallel robot with pure rotational degrees-of-freedom based on the principle of similarity. The physical meaning is modified to be the maximum input velocity when the end-effector rotates in the unit angular velocity.