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Inverse Kinematics of Discretely Actuated Ball-Joint Manipulators Using Workspace Density

[+] Author Affiliations
Hui Dong, Zhijiang Du

Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China

Taosha Fan, Gregory Chirikjian

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Paper No. DETC2015-46803, pp. V05CT08A039; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5C: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5714-4
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


We present a workspace-density-based (WSDB) method to solve the inverse kinematics of discretely actuated ball-joint manipulators. Intuitively speaking, workspace density measures the flexibility of a robotic manipulator when the end-effector is fixed at a certain pose or position. We use the SE(3) Fourier transform to derive the workspace density for ball-joint manipulators and show that the workspace density has a concise and elegant form. Then we show that the state for each joint is determined by maximizing the workspace density of subsequent sub-manipulators.

We demonstrate our method with several numerical examples. In particular, we show that our method can provide a solution that approximately minimizes the deviation of the end-effector and its computational complexity is linear with respect to the number of joints. Hence our method is very efficient in solving the inverse kinematics of redundant discretely actuated ball-joint manipulators. In addition, we prove that the solution space of our method is reduced from the rotation group SO(3) to a one-dimensional interval.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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