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A new inverse kinematics algorithm for binary manipulators with many actuators

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In this paper we present a new, and extremely fast, algorithm for the inverse kinematics of discretely actuated manipulator arms with many degrees of freedom. Our only assumption is that the arm is macroscopically serial in structure, meaning that the overall structure is a serial cascade of units with each unit having either a serial or parallel kinematic structure. Our algorithm builds on previous works in which the authors and coworkers have used the workspace density function in a breadthfirst search for solving the inverse kinematics problem. The novelty of the method presented here is that only the 'mean' of this workspace density function is used. Hence the requirement of storing a sampled version of the workspace density function (which is a function on a six-dimensional space in the case of a spatial manipulator) is circumvented. We illustrate the technique with both planar revolute and variable-geometry-truss manipulators, and briefly describe a new manipulator design for which this algorithm is applicable.
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Keywords: DISCRETE ACTUATION; GROUPS; INVERSE KINEMATICS; PROBABILITY DENSITY FUNCTION; RIGID-BODY MOTION; STATISTICS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Publication date: 2001-06-01

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