Research Papers

Efficient Closed-Form Solution of the Kinematics of a Tunnel Digging Machine

[+] Author and Article Information
Paolo Boscariol

University of Padova,
Vicenza 36100, Italy
e-mail: paolo.boscariol@unipd.it

Alessandro Gasparetto

University of Udine,
Udine 33100, Italy
e-mail: gasparetto@uniud.it

Lorenzo Scalera

University of Udine,
Udine 33100, Italy
e-mail: scalera.lorenzo@spes.uniud.it

Renato Vidoni

Faculty of Science and Technology,
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano,
Bolzano 39100, Italy
e-mail: renato.vidoni@unibz.it

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 16, 2016; final manuscript received December 26, 2016; published online March 20, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Hai-Jun Su.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(3), 031001 (Mar 20, 2017) (13 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1040; doi: 10.1115/1.4035797 History: Received February 16, 2016; Revised December 26, 2016

In this work, the kinematics of a large size tunnel digging machine is investigated. The closed-loop mechanism is made by 13 links and 13 class 1 couplings, seven of which are actuated. This kind of machines are commonly used to perform ground drilling for the placement of reinforcement elements during the construction of tunnels. The direct kinematic solution is obtained using three methods: the first two are based on the numerical solution of the closure equation written using the Denavit–Hartenberg convention, while the third is based on the definition and solution in closed form of an equivalent spherical mechanism. The procedures have been tested and implemented with reference to a real commercial tunnel digging machine. The use of the proposed method for the closed-form solution of direct kinematics allows to obtain a major reduction of the computation time in comparison with the standard numerical solution of the closure equation.

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Fig. 1

Placement of reinforcement elements for a crown section: umbrella arch method

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Fig. 2

The tunnel digging machine, photo courtesy of Casagrande Group

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Fig. 3

Kinematic model of the tunneling machine

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Fig. 4

Denavit–Hartenberg reference system definitions

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Fig. 5

Reference systems for the manipulator Mp

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Fig. 6

Si and di measures for the manipulator Mp

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Fig. 8

Reference systems in the plane pa

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Fig. 9

Reference systems in the plane pf

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Fig. 10

Equivalent spherical mechanism for the manipulator Mp

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Fig. 11

Planar representation of the spherical five-bar linkage

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Fig. 12

Solutions (a) and (b) to the direct kinematic problem

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Fig. 13

Solutions (c) and (d) to the direct kinematic problem

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Fig. 14

Solutions (e) and (f) to the direct kinematic problem

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Fig. 15

Solutions (g) and (h) to the direct kinematic problem




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