A novel partially-decoupled translational parallel manipulator with symbolic kinematics, singularity identification and workspace determination

Huiping Shen, Yinan Zhao, Ju Li, Guanglei Wu, Damien Chablat

This paper presents a novel three-degree-of-freedom (3-DOF) translational parallel manipulator (TPM) by using a topological design method of parallel mechanism (PM) based on position and orientation characteristic (POC) equations. The proposed PM is only composed of lower-mobility joints and actuated prismatic joints, together with the investigations on three kinematic issues of importance. The first aspect pertains to geometric modeling of the TPM in connection with its topological characteristics, such as the POC, degree of freedom and coupling degree, from which its symbolic direct kinematic solutions are readily obtained. Moreover, the decoupled properties of input-output motions are directly evaluated without Jacobian analysis. Sequentially, based upon the inverse kinematics, the singular configurations of the TPM are identified, wherein the singular surfaces are visualized by means of a Gr{\"o}bner based elimination operation. Finally, the workspace of the TPM is evaluated with a geometric approach. This 3-DOF TPM features less joints and links compared with the well-known Delta robot, which reduces the structural complexity. Its symbolic direct kinematics and partially-decoupled property will ease path planning and dynamic analysis. The TPM can be used for manufacturing large work pieces.

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