A Reconfigurable Algorithm for Identifying and Validating Functional Workspace of Industrial Manipulators 2014-01-0734
Industrial robotic arms and manipulators are systems that offer technological advances in automation, production, and logistical processes. Therefore, it is vital to understand and analyze the reachability and dexterity of such manipulators. This paper presents a reconfigurable algorithm for evaluation and 3D visual representation of the total workspace and singularity space of two and three degrees of freedom open-ended kinematic chains. A manipulator's performance is greatly depreciated at or near singular regions which may occur as subset(s) in its complete workspace. It is therefore crucial to understand the functional workspace of a manipulator for an enhanced performance in an industrial setting. The implementation of this algorithm requires two inputs namely; the joint type(s), rotational (R) or translational (T), and the Denavit-Hartenberg (D-H) parameters of the manipulator. The model first evaluates the forward kinematics of the manipulator based on its input configuration and provides a theoretical solution to its complete workspace (position and orientation of the manipulator's end-effector). The algorithm then evaluates all singular condition(s) for the manipulator based on its Jacobian matrix. These results are then graphically mapped on to a 3D workspace along with a visual representation of the manipulator's kinematic structure. The model is adaptive and can reconfigure its results based on its input parameters. Several case studies are presented in this paper to demonstrate the robustness of the proposed algorithm. This model lays foundation for the development and validation of kinematic structures, and can be further utilized as a virtual planning tool for robotic workcell(s).