Gravity compensation of spatial parallel manipulators is a relatively recent topic of investigation. Perfect balancing has been accomplished, so far, only for parallel mechanisms in which the weight of the moving platform is sustained by legs comprising purely rotational joints. Indeed, balancing of parallel mechanisms with translational actuators, which are among the most common ones, has been traditionally thought possible only by resorting to additional legs containing no prismatic joints between the base and the end-effector. This paper presents the conceptual and mechanical designs of a balanced Gough/Stewart-type manipulator, in which the weight of the platform is entirely sustained by the legs comprising the extensible jacks. By the integrated action of both elastic elements and counterweights, each leg is statically balanced and it generates, at its tip, a constant force contributing to maintaining the end-effector in equilibrium in any admissible configuration. If no elastic elements are used, the resulting manipulator is balanced with respect to the shaking force too. The performance of a study prototype is simulated via a model in both static and dynamic conditions, in order to prove the feasibility of the proposed design. The effects of imperfect balancing, due to the difference between the payload inertial characteristics and the theoretical/nominal ones, are investigated. Under a theoretical point of view, formal and novel derivations are provided of the necessary and sufficient conditions allowing (i) a body arbitrarily rotating in space to rest in neutral equilibrium under the action of general constant-force generators, (ii) a body pivoting about a universal joint and acted upon by a number of zero-free-length springs to exhibit constant potential energy, and (iii) a leg of a Gough/Stewart-type manipulator to operate as a constant-force generator.
A Statically Balanced Gough/Stewart-Type Platform: Conception, Design, and Simulation
Carricato, M., and Gosselin, C. (July 14, 2009). "A Statically Balanced Gough/Stewart-Type Platform: Conception, Design, and Simulation." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. August 2009; 1(3): 031005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3147192
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