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S. K. Agrawal, R. Garimella and G. Desmier, "Free-floating closed-chain planar robots: kinematics and path planning", Nonlinear Dynamics, vol. 9, no. 1-2, pp. 1-19, Feb 1996


The study of free-floating manipulators is important for the success of robotics program in space and in the design of innovative robot systems which can operate over a large workspace. In order to study the fundamental theoretical and experimental issues encountered in space robotics, a closed-chain planar manipulator was built at Ohio University (OU) which floats on a flat table using air bearings. Due to the absence of external forces in the plane of the table and couples normal to this plane, the linear momentum in the plane and the angular momentum normal to this plane are conserved. It is well known that the linear momentum equations are holonomic while the angular momentum equation is nonholonomic. Due to this nonholonomic behavior, the path-planning schemes commonly used for fixed-base manipulators do not directly apply to free-floating manipulators. In this paper, we present an algorithm for motion planning of planar free-floating manipulators based on the inverse position kinematics of the mechanism. It is demonstrated that the inverse position kinematics algorithms, commonly used for fixed-base manipulators, can be successfully applied to free-floating manipulators using an iterative search procedure to satisfy the nonholonomic angular momentum constraints. This procedure results in paths identical to those predicted by inverse rate kinematics. The inverse position kinematics algorithm is then used to avoid singularities during motion to result in successful paths. The results of the simulation of this algorithm using parameter estimates of the OU free-floating robot are presented.

BibTeX Entry

author = {S. K. Agrawal and R. Garimella and G. Desmier},
title = {Free-floating closed-chain planar robots: kinematics and path planning},
year = {1996},
month = Feb,
journal = {Nonlinear Dynamics},
volume = {9},
number = {1-2},
pages = {1-19}