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A Coordinate-Free Approach to Tracing the Coupler Curves of Pin-Jointed Linkages

[+] Author Affiliations
Nicolás Rojas, Federico Thomas

Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, Barcelona, Spain

Paper No. DETC2011-48147, pp. 417-426; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 35th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5483-9
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In general, high-order coupler curves of plane mechanisms cannot be properly traced by standard predictor-corrector algorithms due to drifting problems and the presence of singularities. Instead of focusing on finding better algorithms for tracing curves, a simple coordinate-free method that first traces these curves in a distance space and then maps them onto the mechanism workspace is proposed. Tracing a coupler curve in the proposed distance space is much simpler because (a) the equation of this curve in this space can be straightforwardly obtained from a sequence of bilaterations; and (b) the curve in this space naturally decomposes into branches in which the signs of the oriented areas of the triangles involved in the aforementioned bilaterations remain constant. A surjective mapping permits to map the thus traced curves onto the workspace of the mechanism. The advantages of this two-step method are exemplified by tracing the coupler curves of a double butterfly linkage, curves that can reach order 48.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Linkages



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