Volume 23 Issue 6 - Publication Date: 1 June 2004
New Performance Indices andWorkspace Analysis of Reconfigurable Hyper-Redundant Robotic Arms
M. Badescu Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, USA and C. Mavroidis Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA

In this paper, we introduce new performance indices to characterize the workspace of reconfigurable hyper-redundant robotic arms. These indices are then used to analyze the workspace of a type of hyper-redundant robotic arm using as modules lower mobility parallel platforms. The modules of the reconfigurable robotic arm are the three-legged translational universal–prismatic–universal (UPU) and orientational universal–prismatic–spherical (UPS) parallel platforms. Each arm is composed of a large number of these modules having a very large number of degrees of freedom. Results of the workspace analysis are presented in tabular and graphical forms and the corresponding best designs are identified. All possible arm assembly configurations with two, three, and four parallel platform modules and one configuration with five parallel platform modules have been taken into consideration, analyzed, and compared.

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