On-Line Computational Scheme for Mechanical Manipulators

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Y. S. Luh, M. W. Walker, R. P. C. Paul

School of Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. 47907

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 102(2), 69-76 (Jun 01, 1980) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3149599 History: Received May 13, 1980; Online July 21, 2009


Industrial robots are mechanical manipulators whose dynamic characteristics are highly nonlinear. To control a manipulator which carries a variable or unknown load and moves along a planned path, it is required to compute the forces and torques needed to drive all its joints accurately and frequently at an adequate sampling frequency (no less than 60 Hz for the arm considered). This paper presents a new approach of computation based on the method of Newton-Euler formulation which is independent of the type of manipulator-configuration. This method involves the successive transformation of velocities and accelerations from the base of the manipulator out to the gripper, link by link, using the relationships of moving coordinate systems. Forces are then transformed back from the gripper to the base to obtain the joint torques. Theoretically the mathematical model is “exact”. A program has been written in floating point assembly language which has an average execution time of 4.5 milliseconds on a PDP 11/45 computer for a Stanford manipulator. This allows an on-line computation within control systems with a sampling frequency no lower than 60 Hz. A further advantage of using this method is that the amount of computation increases linearly with the number of links whereas the conventional method based on Lagrangian formulation increases as the quartic of the number of links.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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