Application of New Homotopy Continuation Techniques to Variable Geometry Trusses

[+] Author and Article Information
V. Arun, C. F. Reinholtz

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

L. T. Watson

Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

J. Mech. Des 114(3), 422-427 (Sep 01, 1992) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2926568 History: Received March 01, 1990; Online June 02, 2008


A VGT, or Variable Geometry Truss, can be thought of as a statically determinate truss that has been modified to contain some number of variable length members. These extensible members allow the truss to vary its configuration in a controlled manner. Some of the typical applications envisioned for VGTs are as booms to position equipment in space, as supports for space antennae, and as berthing devices. Recently, they have also been proposed as parallel-actuated, long chain, high dexterity manipulators. This paper will demonstrate the use of homotopy continuation in solving the kinematics of relatively complex variable geometry trusses (VGTs) including the octahedron and the decahedron. The procedural aspects are described in detail with the help of examples.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Geometry
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