Abstract

Criteria for the set of all points in a pair of working bodies in a mechanism or manipulator that can coincide for any kinematically admissible configuration of the underlying mechanism, called the domain of interference between the bodies, are formulated. Kinematic equations for the mechanism and parameterizations of the domains of the working bodies are used to derive analytical criteria for domains of interference. Three complementary problems are formulated and analyzed to characterize (1) the set of points in one of the interfering bodies that are occupied by any point in the second body, (2) the set of points in one of the interfering bodies that are occupied by any point on the boundary of the second body, and (3) the set of all points in space that are simultaneously occupied by points in the interfering bodies; each condition occurring for any kinematically admissible configuration of the mechanism. Analytical criteria for the boundaries of domains of interference for each of the three problems arc derived, based on row-rank deficiency of a sub-Jacobian matrix associated with the kinematic equations for each of the problems. Numerical methods for mapping boundaries of domains of interference are presented and illustrated for planar Stewart platforms with domes attached that are characteristic of flight or ground vehicle simulators.

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