The choice of cable placement and routing for a cable-driven serial manipulator has profound effects on the operational workspace of the mechanism. Poor choices in cable attachment can hamper or preclude the ability of the mechanism to perform a desired task, while a clever configuration might allow for an expanded workspace and kinematic redundancies, providing additional capability and flexibility.
This paper outlines a methodology to identify and analyze optimal cable configurations for a serial manipulator which maximize operational workspace subject to mechanism design and configuration constraints. This process is first described in general terms for a generic 2-link robot and then applied to an illustrative example of a cable-driven robot leg. The methodology is used to determine the placement and routing of the cables to achieve the desired range of motion, as well as highlight the critical parameters within the cable configuration and identify possible areas of improvement in the overall robot design.