The work presented here is a nonlinear approach for the control and stability analysis of manipulative systems in compliant maneuvers. Stability of the environment and the manipulator taken as a whole has been investigated using unstructured models for the dynamic behavior of the robot manipulator and the environment, and a bound for stable manipulation has been derived. We show that for stability of the robot, there must be some initial compliancy either in the robot or in the environment. The general stability condition has been extended to the particular case where the environment is very rigid in comparison with the robot stiffness. A fast, light-weight, active end-effector (a miniature robot) which can be attached to the end-point of large commercial robots has been designed and built to verify the control method. The device is a planar, five-bar linkage which is driven by two direct drive, brush-less DC motors. The control method makes the end-effector to behave dynamically as a two-dimensional, Remote Center Compliance (RCC).

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