The objective of this paper is to determine whether a planar parallel manipulator with redundant actuation has better tracking accuracy than a planar parallel manipulator without redundant actuation. The effects of the redundant actuation on tracking accuracy of parallel manipulators are studied by using two different experimental platforms. The first platform is the planar five-bar parallel manipulator with normal actuation, and the other one is the planar parallel manipulator with redundant actuation. The dexterity pictures and the kinematic configurations of the two platforms validate the kinematic advantages from the redundant actuation. In order to study the dynamic advantages of the redundant actuation further, a nonlinear adaptive controller is presented for the two platforms. The experimental comparison is implemented on two actual parallel manipulator platforms, and from the experimental results, one can find the tracking accuracy of the parallel manipulator with redundant actuation can be improved above 38% than that of the five-bar parallel manipulator without redundant actuation.

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