Dynamics of undeactuated cable-driven parallel robots


This thesis focuses on the dynamics of underactuated cable-driven parallel robots (UACDPRs), including various aspects of robotic theory and practice, such as workspace computation, parameter identification, and trajectory planning. After a brief introduction to CDPRs, UACDPR kinematic and dynamic models are analyzed, under the relevant assumption of inextensible cables. The free oscillatory motion of the end-effector (EE), which is a unique feature of underactuated mechanisms, is studied in detail, from both a kinematic and a dynamic perspective. The free (small) oscillations of the EE around equilibria are proved to be harmonic and the corresponding natural oscillation frequencies are analytically computed. UACDPR workspace computation and analysis are then performed. A new performance index is proposed for the analysis of the influence of actuator errors on cable tensions around equilibrium configurations, and a new type of workspace, called tension-error-insensitive, is defined as the set of poses that a UACDPR EE can statically attain even in presence of actuation errors, while preserving tensions between assigned (positive) bounds. EE free oscillations are then employed to conceive a novel procedure aimed at identifying the EE inertial parameters. This approach does not require the use of force or torque measurements. Moreover, a self-calibration procedure for the experimental determination of UACDPR initial cable lengths is developed, which consequently enables the robot to automatically infer the EE initial pose at machine start-up. Lastly, trajectory planning of UACDPRs is investigated. Two alternative methods are proposed, which aim at (i) reducing EE oscillations even when model parameters are uncertain or (ii) eliminate EE oscillations in case model parameters are perfectly known. EE oscillations are reduced in real-time by dynamically scaling a nominal trajectory and filtering it with an input shaper, whereas they can be eliminated if an off-line trajectory is computed that accounts for the system internal dynamics

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