Flexible robotic manipulator
finite element method
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract A dynamic model for a two degree-of-freedom planar robot arm is derived in this study. The links of the arm, connected to prismatic and revolute joints, are considered to be flexible. They are assumed to be fabricated from either aluminum or laminated composite materials. The model is derived based on the Timoshenko beam theory in order to account for the rotary inertia and shear deformation. These effects are significant in modeling flexible links connected to prismatic joints. The deflections of the links are approximated by using a shear-deformable beam finite element. Hamilton's principle is implemented to derive the equations describing the combined rigid and flexible motions of the arm. The resulting equations are coupled and highly nonlinear. In view of the large number of equations involved and their geometric nonlinearity (topological and quadratic), the solution of the equations of motion is obtained numerically by using a stiff integrator. The digital simulation studies examine the interaction between the flexible and the rigid body motions of the robot arm, investigate the improvement in the accuracy of the model by considering the flexibility of all rather than some of the links of the arm, assess the significance of the rotary inertia and shear deformation, and illustrate the advantages of using advanced composites in the structural design of robotic manipulators.
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