Automated Type Synthesis of Planar Mechanisms Using Numeric Optimization With Genetic Algorithms

[+] Author and Article Information
Yi Liu

Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canadayiliu@real.uwaterloo.ca

John McPhee1

Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canadamcphee@real.uwaterloo.ca


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mech. Des 127(5), 910-916 (Nov 05, 2004) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1904049 History: Received March 09, 2004; Revised November 05, 2004

This paper presents a novel method for the automated type synthesis of planar mechanisms and multibody systems. The method explicitly includes topology as a design variable in an optimization framework based on a genetic algorithm (GA). Each binary string genome of the GA represents the concatenation of the upper-right triangular portion of the link adjacency matrix of a mechanism. Different topologies can be explored by the GA by applying genetic operators to the genomes. The evolutionary process is not dependent on the results obtained from enumeration. Two examples of topology-based optimization show the applicability of this method to mechanism type synthesis problems. This method is distinct from others in the literature in that it represents the first fully automated algorithm for solving a general type synthesis problem with the help of a numeric optimizer.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Four-link mechanism and its kinematic representation

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Figure 2

Five types of six-link, 1-DOF mechanisms

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Figure 3

A binary string representing Stephenson I six-link mechanism

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Figure 4

Distributed architecture for mechanism synthesis

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Figure 5

A relabeling of Stephenson I mechanism

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Figure 6

Structural representations of three-link and five-link basic rigid chains

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Figure 7

Seven kinematic chains for eight-link, 3-DOF planar mechanisms

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Figure 8

Three seven-link basic rigid chains




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