Determination of the Actual Configuration of the General Stewart Platform Using Only One Additional Sensor

[+] Author and Article Information
V. Parenti-Castelli

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento, 2, 40136 Bologna Italy

R. Di Gregorio

Institute of Engineering, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat 1, 44100 Ferrara Italy

J. Mech. Des 121(1), 21-25 (Mar 01, 1999) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829423 History: Received November 01, 1995; Revised October 01, 1998; Online December 11, 2007


This paper presents a procedure for the determination of the actual configuration of the general geometry Stewart platform (GSP), a fully-parallel manipulator that features two rigid bodies connected to each other via spherical pairs by six controlled-length legs. The six leg length measurements, provided by the displacement sensors incorporated in the leg hardware equipment, do not make it possible to uniquely find the GSP configuration because several configurations are possible for a given set of leg lengths. Several extra sensors in addition to those incorporated in the leg equipment have been proposed in the literature in order to obtain a one-to-one correspondence between the measurements and the actual GSP configuration. The proposed procedure makes use of only one additional displacement sensor and relies upon the analytical results available in the literature for a particular type of Stewart platform. The procedure, which uniquely defines the actual configuration of the GSP, is not intended for on-line implementation. Three different algorithms are proposed for computation and their efficiency compared. A case study is reported that confirms the effectiveness of the procedure.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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