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Research Papers: Mechanisms and Robotics

Design of Grip-and-Move Manipulators Using Symmetric Path Generating Compliant Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
N. F. Wang

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singaporenfwang@ntu.edu.sg

K. Tai

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singaporemktai@ntu.edu.sg

J. Mech. Des 130(11), 112305 (Sep 30, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2976790 History: Received October 09, 2007; Revised June 13, 2008; Published September 30, 2008

This paper presents the problem formulation and design of compliant grip-and-move manipulators. Each manipulator is composed of two identical path generating compliant mechanisms such that it can grip an object and convey it from one point to another. The integration of both gripping and moving behaviors within a simple mechanism is accomplished by the use of compliant mechanisms, which generate paths that are symmetric. The automated synthesis of these symmetric path generating mechanisms is by a structural topology optimization approach. The problem of topology optimization of continuum structures is solved using a multiobjective genetic algorithm coupled with a morphological representation of geometry that efficiently defines the variable structural geometry upon a finite element grid. A graph-theoretic chromosome encoding together with compatible crossover and mutation operators are then applied to form an effective evolutionary optimization procedure. Two designs have been created and are presented in this paper, and some concluding remarks and future work are put forward.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Sketch of a grip-and-move manipulator

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Figure 2

Deviation between the left and right halves of the path

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Figure 3

Design space for symmetric path mechanism

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Figure 4

Definition of structural geometry by morphological representation: (a) FE discretization of design space, (b) connecting input/output elements with Bezier curves, (c) skeleton made up of elements along curves, and (d) flesh elements added to skeleton to form final structure

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Figure 12

Compliant grip-and-move manipulator (a) arrangement, (b) prototype, and (c) symmetric paths from the FE analysis and prototype (Run 2)

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Figure 6

Illustration of crossover operation

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Figure 7

Three nondominated solutions at the 500th generation (Run 1); (a) best path objective, (b) best combined objective, and (c) best GA objective

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Figure 8

(a) Chromosome code and (b) Bezier curves of the optimal result with best combined objective (Run 1)

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Figure 9

Compliant grip-and-move manipulator (a) arrangement, (b) prototype, and (c) symmetric paths from the FE analysis and prototype (Run 1)

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Figure 10

Three nondominated solutions at the 500th generation (Run 2); (a) best path objective, (b) best combined objective, and (c) best GA objective

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Figure 11

(a) Chromosome code and (b) Bezier curves of the optimal result with best combined objective (Run 2)

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