A Passive Mechanism that Improves Robotic Positioning through Compliance and Constraint
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Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
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This paper presents the design of a passive robotic wrist that is capable of establishing and maintaining an accurate position relative to a workpart edge through compliance and constraint (force guidance). In previous work, we have shown that, through proper selection of a manipulator's impedance, a manipulator's end-effector can be guided to its desired relative position despite errors in its commanded position. The selected proper impedance is attained here through the design of a passive micromanipulator that is mounted on the end-effector of a conventional manipulator. The micromanipulator consists of three linkages connected by revolute joints and torsional springs. The outermost linkage contacts the workpart at multiple locations providing multidirectional unilateral kinematic constraint. This kinematic constraint in conjunction with the compliance provided by the torsional springs causes the linkage to be re-positioned so that any existing misalignment (that inevitably occurs) is eliminated and a unique planar position/orientation with respect to the workpart edge is attained. Here, we present the procedure used in the parametric design of this mechanism. The desired compliant properties identified in task space (using Cartesian variables (x, y, and θ) for force and motion) are extended here to joint space (using joint variables (θ1, θ2), and θ3) for torque and motion). The appropriate micromanipulator link lengths, initial linkage angles, and the appropriate torsional spring constants are selected using an optimization procedure. Computer simulation of the constrained manipulator/workpart interaction demonstrates that the desired force guidance behavior is attained.