Publications

2022

Deciding Cuspidality of Manipulators through Computer Algebra and Algorithms in Real Algebraic Geometry

Cuspidal robots are robots with at least two inverse kinematic solutions that can be connected by a singularity-free path. Deciding the cuspidality of generic 3R robots has been studied in the past, but extending the study to six-degree-of-freedom robots can be a challenging problem. Many robots can be modeled as a polynomial map together with a real algebraic set so that the notion of cuspidality can be extended to these data. In this paper we design an algorithm that, on input a polynomial map in n indeterminates, and s polynomials in the same indeterminates describing a real algebraic set of dimension d, decides the cuspidality of the restriction of the map to the real algebraic set under consideration. Moreover, if D and τ are, respectively the maximum degree and the bound on the bit size of the coefficients of the input polynomials, this algorithm runs in time log-linear in τ and polynomial in ((s+d)D)O(n2). It relies on many high-level algorithms in computer algebra which use advanced methods on real algebraic sets and critical loci of polynomial maps. As far as we know, this is the first algorithm that tackles the cuspidality problem from a general point of view.

Cuspidal robots can travel from one inverse kinematic solution (IKS) to another without meeting a singularity. This property can be analyzed by understanding the inverse kinematic model (IKM) as well as the singularities in the joint space and in the workspace. In this article, we revisit the geometrical interpretation of the IKM with conics. The conditions of getting different conics and their implication on singularities are discussed and the observations regarding the nature of the conics are presented. Further, a sufficient condition for a 3R robot to be binary (i.e. with up to 2 IKS) as well as quaternary (i.e. with up to 4 IKS) is put forth by analyzing the geometrical interpretation of the IKM. The possibility to derive a necessary and sufficient condition is presented too.

Cuspidal robots can travel from one inverse kinematic solution to another without meeting a singularity. The name cuspidal was coined based on the existence of a cusp point in the workspace of 3R serial robots. The existence of a cusp point was proved to be a necessary and sufficient condition for orthogonal robots to be cuspidal, but it was not possible to extend this condition to non-orthogonal robots. The goal of this paper is to prove that this condition stands for any generic 3R serial robot. This result would give the designer more flexibility. In the presented work, the geometrical interpretation of the inverse kinematics of 3R robots is revisited and important observations on the nonsingular change of posture are noted. The paper presents a theorem regarding the existence of reduced aspects in any generic 3R serial robot. Based on these observations and on this theorem, we prove that the existence of a cusp point is a necessary and sufficient condition for any 3R generic robot to be cuspidal.

An efficient combined local and global search strategy for optimization of parallel kinematic mechanisms with joint limits and collision constraints

The optimization of parallel kinematic manipulators (PKM) involve several constraints that are difficult to formalize, thus making optimal synthesis problem highly challenging. The presence of passive joint limits as well as the singularities and self-collisions lead to a complicated relation between the input and output parameters. In this article, a novel optimization methodology is proposed by combining a local search, Nelder–Mead algorithm, with global search methodologies such as low discrepancy distribution for faster and more efficient exploration of the optimization space. The effect of the dimension of the optimization problem and the different constraints are discussed to highlight the complexities of closed-loop kinematic chain optimization. The work also presents the approaches used to consider constraints for passive joint boundaries as well as singularities to avoid internal collisions in such mechanisms. The proposed algorithm can also optimize the length of the prismatic actuators and the constraints can be added in modular fashion, allowing to understand the impact of given criteria on the final result. The application of the presented approach is used to optimize two PKMs of different degrees of freedom.

2016-2020