Series-Chain Planar Manipulators: Inertial Singularities

[+] Author and Article Information
S. K. Agrawal

Robotics Laboratory, Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, CA 94305

J. Mech. Des 115(4), 941-945 (Dec 01, 1993) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2919291 History: Received July 01, 1991; Revised March 01, 1992; Online June 02, 2008


Often, the dynamic behavior of multi-degree-of-freedom mechanical systems such as robots and manipulators is studied by computer simulation of their dynamic equations. An important step in the simulation is the inversion of a matrix, often known as the inertia matrix of the system. In the configurations, where the inertia matrix is singular, the simulation is prone to large numerical errors. Commonly, it is believed that this inertia matrix is always positive definite (or, nonsingular) no matter what geometric and inertial attributes are assigned to the links. In this paper, we show that the inertia matrix of a multi-degree-of-freedom mechanical system modeled with point masses can be singular at special configurations of the links. We present a way to systematically enumerate some of these configurations where the inertia matrix for planar series-chain manipulators built with revolute and prismatic joints are singular.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Chain , Manipulators
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