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.

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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



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