This article illustrates a model that describes the behaviour of power loss (friction) in mechanical transmissions. The model is applied to joints of an industrial manipulator, it is justified on the bases of preliminary observations of some robot behaviour and it is validated with an extensive experimentation on a commercial 6 degrees of freedom anthropomorphic manipulator. The paper shows that friction decreases with increasing temperature which in turn depends on the working cycle of the manipulator. The proposed model permits a prediction of the variation of the friction contribution during extensive working operations and it is suitable for industrial applications to improve the control performance or to predict the energy consumption.

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