Technical Briefs

Module-Based Static Structural Design of a Modular Reconfigurable Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Richard Phillip Mohamed1

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canadar3mohame@ryerson.ca

Fengfeng (Jeff) Xi

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canadafengxi@ryerson.ca

Allan Daniel Finistauri

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ryerson University Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3, Canadadfinista@ryerson.ca


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 132(1), 014501 (Dec 21, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000639 History: Received November 04, 2008; Revised October 30, 2009; Published December 21, 2009; Online December 21, 2009

In this paper, the structural design of modular reconfigurable robots (MRRs) is studied. This problem is defined as the determination of proper module sizes according to the robot’s payload and end-effector deflection specifications. Because an MRR has multiple configurations, a simple design process is proposed in order to avoid performing the structural design stage at each configuration. The final structural design is only carried out at a single configuration that can guarantee the robot’s satisfactory performance for all remaining feasible configurations. It is shown that the module structural design stage can be performed at the local coordinate frame of each module. While the module local force requirement can be fully determined, the determination of the module local deformation requirement is redundant. Thus, there can exist multiple design solutions. To overcome this problem, a nonlinear approach using a genetic algorithm is used to search for an optimal solution. Finally, a design simulation is performed on an example MRR, and the results show the effectiveness of the proposed design method.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Maximum deformation locations for configuration: (a) No. 4, (b) No. 9, (c) No. 13, and (d) No. 14

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Figure 1

(a) Joint and link modules, (b) assembled MRR, and (c) MRR used by Xi and Sun (16)

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Figure 2

Configuration directions for a single link module

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Figure 3

MRR global body and position vectors



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