Abstract

In the context of articulated robotic manipulation, reachable and dexterous workspace define regions of space that can be reached by the end-effector or tool center point (TCP) of a robot. This paper presents an approach to teaching the concepts of reachable and dexterous workspace using MATLAB animations. These methods rely on existing MATLAB tools which limit the visualization to two dimensions (2D). Despite this limitation, these tools have produced a qualitative improvement in student understanding. This paper details the visualization approach used including a review of core concepts and algorithms. Results show reachable and dexterous workspace visualizations for three degree-of-freedom (DoF), planar articulated manipulators consisting of various configurations of revolute (rotational) and prismatic (linear) joints. Source code, documentation, and installation functions for the “Visualize Workspace Toolbox” are available at https://github.com/USNA-WRCE/VisualizeWorkspaceToolbox.

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