The load distribution problem for two coordinating industrial robots handling a single object is studied in this paper. When two industrial robots grasp a single object, the total number of applied torques is usually greater than six. Thus the joint torques of two robots for a required motion of the object is not unique. The redundant degrees of freedom may be used to optimize certain kind of performance. We first select the least energy consumption as the optimization criterion. Optimal algorithms without and with a bound on the joint torques are investigated. The results show that the algorithms are computationally complicated which are not suitable for real-time applications. Alternatively, optimal algorithms are then proposed for load distribution with minimum exerted forces on the object. The algorithms are obtained with much less computational time, which makes it attractive for real-time applications. The algorithms are applied to two PUMA 560 type robots as an illustration.

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