Research Papers

Design and Kinematic Analysis of a Novel Hybrid Kinematic Mechanism With Seven-Degrees-of-Freedom and Variable Topology for Operation in Space

[+] Author and Article Information
Jun He

State Key Laboratory of Mechanical
Systems and Vibration,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: jhe@sjtu.edu.cn

Feng Gao

State Key Laboratory of Mechanical
Systems and Vibration,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: fengg@sjtu.edu.cn

Qiao Sun

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: qiaosun1234@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received April 15, 2018; final manuscript received September 15, 2018; published online November 12, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Philippe Wenger.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(1), 011003 (Nov 12, 2018) (14 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1103; doi: 10.1115/1.4041584 History: Received April 15, 2018; Revised September 15, 2018

We propose a novel hybrid robot with seven degrees-of-freedom (DOF) and variable topology for operation in space. Design specifications of the space robot are presented for the type synthesis of hybrid mechanisms. Based on GF set theory, three design rules are given, thus providing the design method of the 7DOF hybrid space robot mechanism. Twenty-four combinations of the hybrid robotic mechanisms are obtained. The final synthesized configuration for the design of the space robot has a 3DOF parallel module and a 4DOF serial module with four revolute (RRRR) joints. The parallel module consists of a limb with universal-prismatic (UP) joints and two limbs with universal-prismatic-spherical (UPS) joints. The topology of the hybrid robot can be changed, and it will become an RPRR four-bar mechanism when it is folded for launch. The closed-form solution for the inverse displacement model is developed, and then the forward displacement equations are also obtained. After that, the Jacobian matrix is derived from the displacement model; the Jacobian matrix will analyze the singularity and workspace. We find that there are four singularities of mechanisms. The dexterous workspace of the hybrid robot is a good match for the grapple operation in space. An experiment with the prototype shows the present hybrid robot can grapple to a satellite-rocket docking ring and therefore validates the kinematic equations.

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Fig. 1

Kinematic limbs with different classes of GF sets

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Fig. 2

Process of type design based on GF sets theory

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Fig. 3

Topology structure of hybrid space robot

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Fig. 4

Kinematic limbs with the characteristics of GFII(Rα,Rβ,0;Ta,0,0)

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Fig. 5

Kinematic limbs with the characteristics of GFII(Rα,Rβ,0;Ta,Tb,0)

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Fig. 6

Parallel mechanisms with characteristics of GFII(Rα,Rβ,0;Ta,0,0) and GFII(Rα,Rβ,0;Ta,Tb,0)

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Fig. 7

Configuration of hybrid space robot

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Fig. 8

The geometry of robot after changing topology

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Fig. 9

Coordinated systems of space robot

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Fig. 10

Inverse coordinate systems of space robot

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Fig. 11

Singularity configurations of the space robot

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Fig. 12

Changes of the extreme values of θ1F and θ2F with sp

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Fig. 13

The workspace of space robot with different s values

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Fig. 14

The workspace of space robot with different x values (s = 600 mm)

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Fig. 15

Prototype of the space robot

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Fig. 16

Typical operation mission for griping non-cooperative object

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Fig. 17

Comparison of calculation results with experimental data



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