The design of high performance motion controls for industrial robots is based on accurate models for the robot arm and drive systems. This paper presents analytical models and experimental data to show that interactions between electromechanical drives coupled with compliant linkages to arm link drive points are of fundamental importance to robot control system design. Flexibility in harmonic drives produces resonances in the 5 Hz to 8 Hz range. Flexibility in the robot linkages and joints connecting essentially rigid arm members produces higher frequency modes at 14 Hz and 40 Hz. The nonlinear characteristics of the drive system are modeled, and compared to experimental data. The models presented have been validated over the frequency range 0 to 50 Hz. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the influence of model characteristics on motion control design.

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