In control of cooperating manipulator systems, force distribution is a central problem. For rigid manipulators, solutions are based on various criteria such as minimum potential damage to the grasped object, minimum energy consumption and optimal load distribution in actuators. However, when considering manipulators with structural flexibility, minimizing the deflections of the mechanical components becomes a highly desirable objective. In this paper, we propose a force distribution scheme based on a local minimum of the strain energy stored in the elastic links of the cooperating manipulators. Numerical example are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the scheme.

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