Kinematic Design of Serial Link Manipulators From Task Specifications

Christiaan J.J. Paredis and Pradeep K. Khosla

Abstract: The Reconfigurable Modular Manipulator System (RMMS) consists of modular links and joints which can be assembled into many manipulator configurations. This capability allows the RMMS to be rapidly reconfigured in order to custom tailor it to specific tasks. An important issue, related to the RMMS, is the determination of the optimal manipulator configuration for a specific task. In this paper, we address the problem of mapping kinematic task specifications into a kinematic manipulator configuration. For the design of 2 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) planar manipulators, an analytical solution is derived. Since for problems with more than 2 design parameters analytical solutions become impractical, we have also developed a numerical approach for the design of 6-DOF manipulators. The numerical procedure determines the Denavit-Hartenberg (D-H) parameters of a non-redundant manipulator with joint limits, that can reach a set of specified positions/orientations in an environment that may include parallelepiped-shaped obstacles. Finally, this approach is demonstrated with a 3-dimensional example for a 6-DOF manipulator.

The International Journal of Robotics Research , Vol. 12, No.3, pp. 274-287, June 1993.