Robotic assembly is prone to jamming and wedging, however, both conditions can be alleviated if the manipulator has certain compliance properties. In this article, the problem of compliance optimization of robotic arms is investigated with the view to finding robot configurations that have optimal compliance properties in the end-effector frame. Planar manipulators are considered with joint compliance only, ranging from three-dof to kinematically redundant five-dof arms. Robot configurations are determined with some features of the optimal compliance, starting with decoupling of translational and rotational properties to full isotropy of endpoint compliance. Optimization results also account for small variations of joint stiffness values which can be achieved by adjusting the servo-loop proportional gains. Analysis and optimal solutions are validated with commercial simulation software MSC.ADAMS.

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