Technical Brief

Determination of the Workspace of a Three-Degrees-of-Freedom Parallel Manipulator Using a Three-Dimensional Computer-Aided-Design Software Package and the Concept of Virtual Chains1

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew Johnson

School of Engineering and Physical Sciences,
Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom
e-mail: aj159@hw.ac.uk

Xianwen Kong

School of Engineering and Physical Sciences,
Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom
e-mail: X.Kong@hw.ac.uk

James Ritchie

School of Engineering and Physical Sciences,
Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, United Kingdom
e-mail: J.M.Ritchie@hw.ac.uk

1The original version of this paper was presented at the ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Portland, OR, Aug. 4–7, ASME Paper No. DETC2013-12586.

Manuscript received February 4, 2015; final manuscript received August 31, 2015; published online November 24, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Raffaele Di Gregorio.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(2), 024501 (Nov 24, 2015) (3 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1025; doi: 10.1115/1.4031656 History: Received February 04, 2015; Revised August 31, 2015; Accepted September 18, 2015

The determination of workspace is an essential step in the development of parallel manipulators. By extending the virtual-chain (VC) approach to the type synthesis of parallel manipulators, this technical brief proposes a VC approach to the workspace analysis of parallel manipulators. This method is first outlined before being illustrated by the production of a three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided-design (CAD) model of a 3-RPS parallel manipulator and evaluating it for the workspace of the manipulator. Here, R, P and S denote revolute, prismatic and spherical joints respectively. The VC represents the motion capability of moving platform of a manipulator and is shown to be very useful in the production of a graphical representation of the workspace. Using this approach, the link interferences and certain transmission indices can be easily taken into consideration in determining the workspace of a parallel manipulator.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

3-RPS parallel manipulator

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Six degrees-of-freedom VC composed of three virtual P joints and three virtual R joints

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

3-RPS parallel manipulator with a VC integrated

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Sections of the workspace with a vertical position of: (a)z = 142.5 mm, (b) z = 137.5 mm, (c) z = 132.5 mm, (d) z = 127.5 mm, (e) z = 122.5 mm, (f) z = 117.5 mm, (g) z = 112.5 mm, (h) z = 107.5 mm, and (i) z = 102.5 mm




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