Research Papers

Optimization of a Mobile Platform for a Wheeled Manipulator

[+] Author and Article Information
Tao Song

Key Laboratory of Intelligent
Manufacturing and Robotics,
School of Mechatronics Engineering and
Automation of Shanghai University,
HC204, No. 99, Shangda Road,
Shanghai 200444, China
e-mail: songtao43467226@shu.edu.cn

Fengfeng (Jeff) Xi

Department of Aerospace Engineering,
Ryerson University,
350 Victoria Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
e-mail: fengxi@ryerson.ca

Shuai Guo

Key Laboratory of Intelligent
Manufacturing and Robotics,
School of Mechatronics Engineering and
Automation of Shanghai University,
HC204, No. 99, Shangda Road,
Shanghai 200444, China
e-mail: guoshuai@shu.edu.cn

Yu Lin

R&D Department,
Kirchhoff Van-Rob,
Aurora, ON L4G 0A2, Canada
e-mail: ylin@van-rob.com

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 23, 2015; final manuscript received May 25, 2016; published online September 6, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Andreas Mueller.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(6), 061007 (Sep 06, 2016) (14 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1348; doi: 10.1115/1.4033855 History: Received December 23, 2015; Revised May 25, 2016

A method for optimizing a mobile platform to form a wheeled manipulator is presented. For a given manipulator, this mobile platform is optimized to have maximum tip-over stability against the reaction forces and moments caused by the movement of the manipulator. This optimization is formulated as a max–min problem, i.e., to maximize a stable region ratio (SRR) over the manipulator's workspace while minimizing a tip-over moment (TOM). For a practical solution, this max–min problem is converted to two subproblems. The first one is the worst-case analysis to determine the maximum positive value of TOM through searching over the manipulator's workspace. A positive value of TOM indicates tip-over instability. The three parameters used for this search are pertaining to the mobile platform itself, i.e., the number of support wheels, the size, and mass of the mobile platform. The second subproblem is to optimize the placement of the manipulator and accessory on the mobile platform against the identified worst case so that the entire manipulator's workspace is stable. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated by applying it to optimize a mobile drilling and riveting robot.

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Fig. 2

Formulation of mobile platform design

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Fig. 1

Design of a wheeled manipulator for manufacturing applications

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Fig. 4

Manipulator kinematic modeling

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Fig. 3

The different distributions of the support wheels

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Fig. 5

Workspace of the manipulator under study: (a) top view and (b) front view

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Fig. 6

The simulation result in terms of number of support wheels for three cases

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Fig. 7

The simulation result in terms of the mobile platform size

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Fig. 8

The simulation result in terms of the mobile platform mass

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Fig. 9

(a) TOM and (b) SRR results under different cases

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Fig. 17

Mobile manipulator for manufacturing

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Fig. 10

SRR simulation result with different dM

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Fig. 11

SRR simulation result with different dA

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Fig. 12

Flowchart for largest tip-over stability margin

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Fig. 13

(a) Initial TOM results over workspace, (b) cut-off view of (a), (c) optimized TOM results for largest tip-over stability margin, and (d) cut-off view of (c)

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Fig. 14

Flowchart for largest distance of dM

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Fig. 15

(a) Optimized TOM results for largest distance of dM ; (b) cut-off view of (a)

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Fig. 18

Mobile manipulator manufactured and optimized by the method proposed




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