Research Article | Open Access
Shuwei Qu, Ruiqin Li, Shaoping Bai, "Type Synthesis of 2T1R Decoupled Parallel Mechanisms Based on Lie Groups and Screw Theory", Mathematical Problems in Engineering, vol. 2017, Article ID 8304312, 11 pages, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8304312
Type Synthesis of 2T1R Decoupled Parallel Mechanisms Based on Lie Groups and Screw Theory
Decoupled parallel mechanisms (DPMs) have the characteristics of compact structure and simple control with wide applications. This paper presents a new method of type synthesis for DPMs by virtue of Lie groups and screw theory. The method consists of synthesis at limb level and configuration level. At limb level, Lie group is used to synthesize the limbs with required DOFs. At configuration level, screw theory is adopted to determine configuration with synthesized limbs that satisfy the type synthesis criteria of DPMs. The type synthesis criteria including limb decoupling and selection of the driving pairs are presented. Upon the formulation, the procedure of type synthesis of DPMs is developed. Type synthesis is conducted with the proposed method, which leads to new spatial and planar fully decoupled 2T1R mechanisms.
Parallel mechanisms consist of two or more limbs in parallel, which bring PMs the advantage of high stiffness, high accuracy, low inertia, and high dynamic performances. On the other hand the coupling of the parallel limbs implies some problems, such as high nonlinearity relationship between input and output, which makes static and dynamic analysis and the robot control difficult . Decoupled parallel mechanisms (DPMs) have one-to-one correspondence relationship between input and output variables, becoming desirable for both robot design and control.
Many techniques and approaches for DPMs type synthesis can be found in literature, for example, type synthesis of 3-DOF translational DPMs , T3R2 manipulators , and T2R1 bifurcated planar-spatial manipulators , in which linear transformation method was used. A 2R1T partially decoupled manipulator was proposed in . Examples of synthesis with screw theories can be found in [6–12]. Moreover, 3-DOFs translational DPMs  and 6-DOFs decoupled manipulators  were synthesized with basic revolute kinematic pairs. Other examples of DPMs can be found in [15–18].
This work is interested in lower-mobility mechanisms with simple structures. In particular, 2T1R PMs generates one rotation (1R) and two translations (2T). This type of mechanisms has very wide applications in industry, such as flight motion simulation, pointing and tracking, and assembling and machining [4, 12, 19, 20], while type synthesis was generally studied for other types of parallel manipulators. Type synthesis of 2T1R DPMs was not systematically addressed.
In this work, we propose a systematic approach of 2T1R DPM synthesis. It is noted that most type synthesis was based on screw theory [6–12, 19, 20], which does not consider the instantaneous motion characteristics. We incorporate Lie groups in synthesis, taking advantage of Lie groups in describing mathematically the precise succession of motions [21, 22].
The paper is organized as follows. The principle of type synthesis of topological conditions is presented in Section 2. The decoupling identification of PMs, synthesis criteria of the limb decoupling, the selection criteria of the driving pairs, and the procedure of type synthesis for DPMs are established in Section 3. The specific synthesis process and the configuration of 2T1R DPMs are presented in Section 4. A brief analysis of the decoupled motion is provided in Section 5. Section 6 concludes this work.
2. Basic Principle of Type Synthesis
Type synthesis of DPMs can be generalized into three basic problems, namely, (1) identifying topological conditions and calculating the number of structural parameters; (2) determining type synthesis method; (3) designing limbs with desired properties, assembling limbs, and obtaining mechanisms, as further explained presently.
2.1. Topological Conditions of Type Synthesis for DPMs
DPMs consist of a moving platform connected to the base by at least two limbs. The output characteristics of the moving platform are the intersection of terminal kinematic characteristics of all limbs [23–26]. That is,where is the output characteristics of the moving platform and is the kinematic characteristics of th limb .
Equation (1) represents the relationship between fundamental topology elements of a mechanism. The structure parameters contain the dimension of the moving platform, the number of limbs, actuated limbs, driving pairs, redundant limbs, and so forth. Therefore, the topological structure of DPMs and the structure parameters must satisfy the following conditions [23, 27]where is the dimension characteristics of the moving platform for parallel topologies, is the number of driving pairs in actuated limb , is the number of actuated limbs, is the number of limbs, and is the number of the redundant limbs.
2.2. Type Synthesis Method Based on Screw Theory
Assume the expected number of degrees of freedom for the DPM to be , where and denote the number and the property of the degree of freedom required by the DPM, respectively. Based on screw theory , the screw system of the mechanism is . This means that if is known, can be determined. By solving the reciprocal screw of , the reciprocal screws of the screw system of the mechanism can be determined. The reciprocal screws of the screw system of the limbs (where is the number of the reciprocal screws of the th limb) are a subset of those of the mechanism, which can be expressed as
If the mechanism consists of limbs, the set composed of the reciprocal screws of the screw system of all limbs is equal to the set composed of those of the mechanism, which is
Furthermore, the reciprocal screws of the screw system and the screw systems of the limbs can be determined. The linear combination of the screw system of the limbs can constitute different types of kinematic limbs. These kinematic limbs are assembled according to certain relationships into mechanisms; if the obtained mechanism can realize continuous movement and its DOF remain invariable, then it is just the DPM which possesses the given DOF.
The entire process of the constrained screw synthesis method can be described as follows:
Equation (5) must satisfy the following conditions:
Equation (6) indicates that the reciprocal screws of the screw system of the limbs are the subset of those of the mechanism, the reciprocal screws of the screw system of the mechanism is the union of those of all limbs, and the screw system of the mechanism is the intersection of those of all limbs.
2.3. Limb Synthesis
In order to generate continuous movement, desired limbs are synthesized through Lie groups, which describe the continuous motion using precise mathematical model.
The motion characteristics fulfilling the algebra structures of Lie groups are represented by 12 kinds of displacement subgroups. Other motion characteristics not fulfilling the algebra structures of Lie groups are represented by displacement submanifolds. Hervé  enumerated all 12 kinds of displacement subgroups. The main properties are as follows: the intersection of subgroup follows the rule of intersection of sets. The intersection of two subgroups is always a subgroup. The product is also displacement subgroups, and their product can commute to each other, the product of two same displacement subgroups is always equivalent to this subgroup.
Limb synthesis is conducted through combining various kinematic pairs. The mathematical model and the topology structure parameters of limb are developed with specified motion characteristics. The kinematic pair type and quantity are identified based on the motion characteristics. The position and direction of kinematic pairs are identified according to the relationship between the joint axes.
3. Type Synthesis Method of DPMs
3.1. Decoupling Identification
3.1.1. The Decoupling Identification of Parallel Mechanism
In PMs, the moving platform moves either in 2D or in 3D space, actuated by driving pairs. Its position and orientation are specified by a suitable set of coordinates while the motion of the driving pairs is represented by a suitable set of coordinates . The input-output relations are represented by the forward and inverse kinematic relations
Differentiating (7) with respect to time, the velocity equation is
Thus,where (·) is derivative of the time, is Jacobian matrix, is the linear or angular velocity of the moving platform.
According to the condition of the Jacobian matrix , three types of PMs are identified as follows:(i)The PM is isotropic, if is a diagonal matrix with identical diagonal elements.(ii)The PM is decoupled, if is a diagonal matrix with different diagonal elements or a triangular matrix.(iii)The PM is coupled, if is neither a triangular nor a diagonal matrix.
Each output of DPMs is controlled by one or a group of inputs. Each coordinate () () of the reference point of the moving platform depends on single or a group of driving pairs () (), the expression being given as follows:
3.2. Type Synthesis of DPMs
Decoupled motion of parallel mechanisms means the motion characteristics of the moving platform satisfies canonical configuration in all directions. Based on screw theory, the active twist must be linearly independent with other twists of the limb. The twist of the moving platform of parallel mechanism in general form iswhere is the angular velocity and is the linear velocity.
The canonical configuration means that the axes of the revolute pairs must be orthogonal to each other and the directions of the prismatic pairs must be perpendicular to each other. The canonical configuration can be represented as infinity tetrahedron, as shown in Figure 1 .
The realized conditions of decoupled movement of the moving platform depend on two factors: the configuration of the limb and the selection criterion of the driving pairs.
3.2.1. Type Synthesis Criteria of the Limb Decoupling
The kinematic characteristics of the limb can be expressed by the exponential product equation. That is,where is the position of the limb with respect to , is axis coordinate of identity screw of the th joint , is motion parameters of th joint, and is initial position of the limb.
When is a revolute pair, is a revolute angle of th joint. When is a prismatic pair, is a displacement of th joint.
Equation (12) shows the calculation is more simple and quick if the revolute pair is located next to the moving platform. This is more useful in limb design.
The independent limb synthesis depends on the dimensional constraint of the limb . In order to realize orthogonal constraints, the limbs must synthesize in orthogonal configuration. The kinematic pairs also must be synthesized in orthogonal conditions, which are as follows:(1)The number of limbs could be determined according to topological conditions of (2).(2)In different directions, the prismatic pairs must be perpendicular to each other.(3)The axes of the revolute pairs must be orthogonal or parallel to each other.(4)The axes of the revolute pairs must be perpendicular with the prismatic pairs.(5)The prismatic pairs should be placed close to the base.(6)The last kinematic pair in the kinematic chain of all limbs must be revolute pair if the output of the moving platform has rotation movement requirement. The axes of all revolute pairs must be parallel with direction of the rotation of the moving platform.
3.2.2. Selection Criteria of the Driving Pairs
The selection of driving pairs must follow the following criteria:(1)The number of driving pairs should be determined according to topological conditions of (2).(2)The DOF of the mechanism must be zero when the driving pairs are locked.(3)The driving pairs should be distributed among all limbs as evenly as possible. It can be conveniently controlled as expressed in (10).(4)In order to reduce the inertia of the mechanism, the driving pairs should preferably be placed on the base or close to the base.
3.3. Procedure of the Type Synthesis for DPMs
The procedure of type synthesis using Lie groups and screw theory can be summarized as follows:(1)Identifying the topological conditions, defining the number of limbs and the structure parameters.(2)Generating the equivalent limbs according to required DOF of DPMs by Lie groups.(3)Distributing the corresponding constraint screw for each limb according to type synthesis method of the reciprocal screws of the screw system for DPMs.(4)Selecting limbs from the equivalent limbs to satisfy the synthesis criteria of limb decoupling and the criteria of the driving pairs.(5)Classifying the limbs from Step (4) according to the reciprocal screws of the screw system of Step (3). Different mobility limbs were obtained.(6)Generating different mobility decoupled limbs, configuring DPMs.
The procedure of type synthesis for DPMs is presented in Figure 2.
4. Type Synthesis of 2T1R DPMs
The characteristics of the moving platform of 2T1R DPMs are two translational DOFs and one rotational DOF. The rotational axis of the revolute DOF can be parallel or perpendicular to the plane composed of the translational axes. Therefore, the type synthesis of DPMs should be discussed separately. This work focuses on the parallel situation and the result for the vertical situation will be presented directly.
4.1. Topological Condition of 2T1R DPMs
The characteristics of the moving platform of 2T1R DPMs is The intersection algorithm was employed as follows:
According to the parameters relationship of (2), the structure parameters can be expressed as follows:
4.2. Synthesis of Equivalent Limbs of 2T1R DPMs Based on Lie Groups
The moving platform of DPMs with 2T1R movements can be expressed as semidirect product of two translations and one rotation of Lie groups :
The displacement subgroup iswhere , or or .
The transformed canonical configuration is as follows:
Generated canonical configuration submanifold is
|Note. (1) , , , and stand for revolute, prismatic, cylindrical, and universal joint and stands for parallelogram loop pair. (2) The notation of black body represents the planar joints. (3) The internal joint of can be arbitrary in order.|
4.3. Distributing Constraint Screw for Different Limbs Based on Screw Theory
The screw system of 2T1R DPMs is
The reciprocal screw system is
According to screw theory, there are two constraint couples and one constraint force. The limbs reciprocal screw system is as follows:(1)The DOF of limb is 5, which contains one constraint force, and the other limbs with constraint force must be parallel with the first force in space.(2)The DOF of limb is 4, which contains one constraint couple and one constraint force. The constraint force is parallel with the constraint force of the first limb.(3)The DOF of limb is 3, which contains two constraint couples and one constraint force. All couples of limbs must be noncoplanar in space and not parallel in space. The constraint force is parallel with the other two limbs and coplanar in space.
4.4. Selecting Limbs of 2T1R DPMs Based on Screw Theory
Limb 1. The DOF of limb is equal to 5, which contains one constraint force; that is,