Research Papers

Plant-Limited Co-Design of an Energy-Efficient Counterbalanced Robotic Manipulator

[+] Author and Article Information
James T. Allison

Assistant Professor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Urbana, IL 61801
e-mail: jtalliso@illinois.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received May 15, 2012; final manuscript received June 1, 2013; published online August 7, 2013. Assoc. Editor: James Schmiedeler.

J. Mech. Des 135(10), 101003 (Aug 07, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-12-1261; doi: 10.1115/1.4024978 History: Received May 15, 2012; Revised June 01, 2013

Modifying the design of an existing system to meet the needs of a new task is a common activity in mechatronic system development. Often, engineers seek to meet requirements for the new task via control design changes alone, but in many cases new requirements are impossible to meet using control design only; physical system design modifications must be considered. Plant-limited co-design (PLCD) is a design methodology for meeting new requirements at minimum cost through limited physical system (plant) design changes in concert with control system redesign. The most influential plant changes are identified to narrow the set of candidate plant changes. PLCD provides quantitative evidence to support strategic plant design modification decisions, including tradeoff analyses of redesign cost and requirement violation. In this article the design of a counterbalanced robotic manipulator is used to illustrate successful PLCD application. A baseline system design is obtained that exploits synergy between manipulator passive dynamics and control to minimize energy consumption for a specific pick-and-place task. The baseline design cannot meet requirements for a second pick-and-place task through control design changes alone. A limited set of plant design changes is identified using sensitivity analysis, and the PLCD result meets the new requirements at a cost significantly less than complete system redesign.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Roos, F., 2007, “Towards a Methodology for Integrated Design of Mechatronic Servo Systems,” Ph.D. dissertation, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Allison, J. T., and Herber, D. R., 2013, “Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Dynamic Engineering Systems,” AIAA J., (to be published).
Li, Q., Zhang, W. J., and Chen, L., 2001, “Design for Control—A Concurrent Engineering Approach for Mechatronic Systems Design,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 6(2), pp. 161–169. [CrossRef]
Friedland, B., 1996, Advanced Control System Design, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Fathy, H. K., Reyer, J. A., Papalambros, P. Y., and Ulsoy, A. G., 2001, “On the Coupling Between the Plant and Controller Optimization Problems,” Proceedings of the 2001 American Control Conference, IEEE.
Fathy, H. K., 2003, “Combined Plant and Control Optimization: Theory, Strategies and Applications,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Peters, D. L., Papalambros, P. Y., and Ulsoy, A. G., 2009, “On Measures of Coupling Between the Artifact and Controller Optimal Design Problems,” Proceedings of the 2009 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference.
Reyer, J. A., Fathy, H. K., Papalambros, P. Y., and Ulsoy, A. G., 2001, “Comparison of Combined Embodiment Design and Control Optimization Strategies Using Optimality Conditions,” Proceedings of the 2001 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences.
Peters, D. L., Papalambros, P. Y., and Ulsoy, A. G., 2011, “Control Proxy Functions for Sequential Design and Control Optimization,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 133(9), p. 091007. [CrossRef]
Allison, J. T., 2013, “Engineering System Co-Design With Limited Plant Redesign,” Eng. Optimiz., ePub. [CrossRef]
Li, Y., and Bone, G. M., 2001, “Are Parallel Manipulators More Energy Efficient?,” Proceedings of the 2001 IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation.
Spong, M. W., Hutchinson, S., and Vidyasagar, M., 2005, Robot Modeling and Control, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Field, G., and Stepanenko, Y., 1996, “Iterative Dynamic Programming: An Approach to Minimum Energy Trajectory Planning for Robotic Manipulators,” Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Ahmadi, M., and Buehler, M., 1999, “The ARL Monopod II Running Robot: Control and Energetics,” Proceedings of 1999 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Barili, A., Ceresa, M., and Parisi, C., 1995, “Energy-Saving Motion Control for an Autonomous Mobile Robot,” IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics.
Mei, Y., Lu, Y., Hu, Y. C., and Lee, C. S. G., 2004, “Energy-Efficient Motion Planning for Mobile Robots,” Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Mei, Y., Lu, Y., Lee, C. S. G., and Hu, Y. C., 2006, “Energy-Efficient Mobile Robot Exploration,” Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Ooi, C. C., and Schindelhauer, C., 2009, “Minimal Energy Path Planning for Wireless Robots,” Mobile Netw. Appl., 14(3), pp. 309–321. [CrossRef]
Grieco, J. C., Prieto, M., Armada, M., and Gonzalez de Santos, P., 1998, “A Six-Legged Climbing Robot for High Payloads,” Proceedings of the 1998 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications.
Pitti, A., and Lungarella, M., 2006, “Exploration of Natural Dynamics Through Resonance and Chaos,” Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Intelligent Autonomous Systems.
Sarkar, N., and Podder, T. K., 2001, “Coordinated Motion Planning and Control of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle-Manipulator Systems Subject to Drag Optimization,” IEEE J. Ocean. Eng., 26(2), pp. 228–239. [CrossRef]
Mattila, J., and Virvalo, T., 2000, “Energy-Efficient Motion Control of a Hydraulic Manipulator,” Proceedings of the 2000 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Sato, A., Sato, O., Takahashi, N., and Kono, M., 2007, “Trajectory for Saving Energy of a Direct-Drive Manipulator in Throwing Motion,” Artif. Life Rob., 11, pp. 61–66. [CrossRef]
Agrawal, S. K., Gardner, G., and Pledgie, S., 2001, “Design and Fabrication of an Active Gravity Balanced Planar Mechanism Using Auxiliary Parallelograms,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 123(4), pp. 525–528. [CrossRef]
Agrawal, S. K., and Fattah, A., 2004, “Gravity-Balancing of Spatial Robotic Manipulators,” Mech. Mach. Theory, 39(12), pp. 1331–1344. [CrossRef]
Fattah, A., and Agrawal, S. K., 2006, “Gravity-Balancing of Classes of Industrial Robots,” Proceedings 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.
Tepper, F. R., and Lowen, G. G., 1972, “General Theorems Concerning Full Force Balancing of Planar Linkages by Internal Mass Redistribution,” ASME J. Eng. Ind., 94, pp. 789–796. [CrossRef]
Chung, W. K., and Cho, H. S., 1987, “On the Dynamics and Control of Robotic Manipulators with an Automatic Balancing Mechanism,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part B (Manage. Eng. Manuf.), 201(12), pp. 25–34. [CrossRef]
Lim, T. G., Cho, H. S., and Chung, W. K., 1990, “Payload Capacity of Balanced Robotic Manipulators,” Robotica, 8(2), pp. 117–123. [CrossRef]
Coello, C. A., Christiansen, A. D., and Aguirre, A. H., 1998, “Using a New GA-Based Multiobjective Optimization Technique for the Design of Robot Arms,” Robotica, 16(4), pp. 401–414. [CrossRef]
Ravichandran, T., Wang, D., and Heppler, G., 2006, “Simultaneous Plant-Controller Design Optimization of a Two-Link Planar Manipulator,” Mechatronics, 16(3-4), pp. 233–242. [CrossRef]
van der Wijk, V., and Herder, J. L., 2009, “Synthesis of Dynamically Balanced Mechanisms by Using Counter-Rotary Countermass Balanced Double Pendula,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 131(11), p. 111003. [CrossRef]
McGeer, T., 1990, “Passive Dynamic Walking,” Int. J. Robot. Res., 9(2), pp. 62–82. [CrossRef]
Collins, S., Ruina, A., Tedrake, R., and Wisse, M., 2005, “Efficient Bipedal Robots Based on Passive-Dynamic Walkers,” Science, 307(5712), pp. 1082–1085. [CrossRef]
Smith, M. J., Grigoriadis, K. M., and Skelton, R. E., 1991, “The Optimal Mix of Passive and Active Control in Structures,” Proceedings of the 1991 American Control Conference, IEEE, pp. 1459–1464.
Williamson, M. M., 2003, “Oscillators and Crank Turning: Exploiting Natural Dynamics With a Humanoid Robot Arm,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, 361(1811), pp. 2207–2223. [CrossRef]
Park, J. H., and Asada, H., 1994, “Concurrent Design Optimization of Mechanical Structure and Control for High Speed Robots,” ASME J. Dyn. Syst., Meas., Control, 116(3), pp. 344–356. [CrossRef]
Giffin, M., de Weck, O., Bounova, G., Keller, R., Eckert, C., and Clarkson, P. J., 2009, “Change Propagation Analysis in Complex Technical Systems,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 131(8), p. 081001. [CrossRef]
Siddiqi, A., Bounova, G., de Weck, O. L., Keller, R., and Robinson, B., 2011, “A Posteriori Design Change Analysis for Complex Engineering Projects,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 133(10), p. 101005. [CrossRef]
Allison, J. T., and Nazari, S., 2010, “Combined Plant and Controller Design Using Decomposition-Based Design Optimization and the Minimum Principle,” Proceedings of the 2010 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Paper No. DETC2010-28887.
Antoulas, A. C., 2005, Approximation of Large-Scale Dynamical Systems, SIAM, Philadelphia, PA.
Papalambros, P. Y., and Wilde, D., 2000, Principles of Optimal Design: Modeling and Computation, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Philpott, M. L., Warrington, C. S., Branstad, E. A., David, R., and Nita, R. P., 1996, “A Parametric Contract Modeler for DFM Analysis,” J. Manuf. Syst., 15(4), pp. 256–267. [CrossRef]
Boothroyd, G., and Dewhurst, P., 2010, Product Design for Manufacture and Assembly, 3rd ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Allison, J. T., 2012, “Simulation and Limited Redesign of a Counterbalanced Two Link Robotic Manipulator,” http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/37665
Allison, J. T., and Han, Z., 2011, “Co-Design of an Active Suspension Using Simultaneous Dynamic Optimization,” Proceedings of the 2011 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Paper No. DETC2011-48521.
Deshmukh, A. P., and Allison, J. T., 2013, “Design of Nonlinear Dynamic Systems using Surrogate Models of Derivative Functions,” Proceedings of the 2013 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, Paper No. DETC2013-12262.
Arai, H., and Tachi, S., 1991, “Position Control of a Manipulator With Passive Joints Using Dynamic Coupling,” IEEE Trans. Rob. Autom., 7(4), pp. 528–534. [CrossRef]
Harper, S. R., and Thurston, D. L., 2008, “Incorporating Environmental Impacts in Strategic Redesign of an Engineered System,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 130(3), p. 031101. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Counterbalanced two-link planar manipulator, (b) section view of link i, and (c) task A initial and final conditions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Optimal trajectories for nominal plant design: (a) Payload trajectory, (b) joint 1, and (c) joint 2 torque-speed trajectories

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Task A co-design results: (a) Payload trajectory, (b) joint 1, and (c) joint 2 torque-speed trajectories

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Task B co-design results: (a) Payload trajectory, (b) joint 1, and (c) joint 2 torque-speed trajectories

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Pareto set illustrating the tradeoff between energy consumption and plant redesign cost

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Task B limited redesign results (min E(x)): (a) Payload trajectory, (b) joint 1, and (c) joint 2 torque-speed trajectories

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Task B PLCD results (E ≤ 0.001 J): (a) Payload trajectory, (b) joint 1, and (c) joint 2 torque-speed trajectories




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In