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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 129506, 14 pages
Research Article

Parallel Robot Translational Performance Evaluation through Direction-Selective Index (DSI)

Dipartimento di Tecnica e Gestione dei Sistemi Industriali, Università degli Studi di Padova, Stradella S. Nicola 3, 36100 Vicenza, Italy

Received 28 January 2011; Revised 13 May 2011; Accepted 26 May 2011

Academic Editor: Yuan Zheng

Copyright © 2011 G. Boschetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Performance indexes usually provide global evaluations of robot performances mixing their translational and/or rotational capabilities. This paper proposes a definition of performance index, called direction-selective index (DSI), which has been specifically developed for parallel manipulators and can provide uncoupled evaluations of robot translational capabilities along relevant directions. The DSI formulation is first presented within a general framework, highlighting its relationship with traditional manipulability definitions, and then applied to a family of parallel manipulators (4-RUU) of industrial interest. The investigation is both numerical and experimental and allows highlighting the two chief advantages of the proposed DSIs over more conventional manipulability indexes: not only are DSIs more accurate in predicting the workspace regions where manipulators can best perform translational movements along specific directions, but also they allow foreseeing satisfactorily the dynamic performance variations within the workspace, though being purely kinematic indexes. The experiments have been carried out on an instrumented 4-RUU commercial robot.