Abstract

A conventional parallel manipulator consists of a moving platform, a fixed base platform, as well as several serial chains that connect the two platforms. This paper presents a novel five degree-of-freedom (DOF) hybrid manipulator such that its base platform itself is movable and thus reconfigurable. This hybrid structure greatly expands the workspace of the end-effector platform so that it can reach and perform tasks over a large-scale spherical honeycomb structure. First, the inverse kinematics as well as the Jacobian matrix is developed. Then, the workspace and singularity of the hybrid manipulator are studied for four different positions of the reconfigurable base platform to show the enlarged singularity-free workspace. For a large-scale honeycomb structure with prefusion requirements, which is placed within the workspace of the hybrid manipulator, the minimum and maximum limit positions of the reconfigurable base are obtained. Finally, a simulation model for the hybrid manipulator is developed using Mathematica and Adams and numerical simulations are conducted to evaluate the kinematic performance and verify the effectiveness of the hybrid manipulator.

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