The operation error of a robot manipulator that occurs inevitably due to the manufacturing tolerance needs to be controlled within a certain range to achieve proper performance. The reduction of manufacturing tolerance, however, increases the manufacturing cost in return. Therefore, system design engineers try to solve the problem of maximizing the tolerance to reduce the manufacturing cost while minimizing the operation error to satisfy the performance requirement. In the present study, a revolute joint model considering the variation of joint axis orientation due to joint clearance is employed to perform a tolerance analysis of the robot manipulator operation. This paper presents a hybrid method which employs the sensitivity-based analytic method and the single Monte-Carlo simulation. The proposed method provides rapid implementation and the accurate statistical properties using the only single integration or single iteration for one sample set, whereas the Monte-Carlo method necessitates integrations as the number of samples and cases. Significant reduction of computing time can be achieved with the proposed method. The present method is especially effective if sensitivity information is hard to be obtained for the analysis.

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