Abstract

The workspace is an important reference for designs of cable-driven parallel robots (CDPRs). Most current researches focus on calculating the workspace of redundant CDPRs. However, few literature study the workspaces of under-constrained CDPRs. In this paper, the static equilibrium reachable workspaces (SERWs) of spatial 3-cable under-constrained CDPRs are solved numerically since expressions describing workspace boundaries cannot be obtained in closed forms. The steps to solve the SERWs are as follows. First, expressions that describe the SERWs and their boundaries are proposed. Next, these expressions are instantiated through a novel anchor points model composed of linear equations, quadratic equations, and tension limits in cables. Then, based on the reformulated linearization technique (RLT), the constraints system is transformed into a system containing only linear equality constraints and linear inequality constraints. Finally, the framework of the branch-and-prune (BP) algorithm is adopted to solve this system. The effect of the algorithm is verified by two examples. One is searching the SERWs boundaries of a special three-cable-driven parallel robot (CDPR) whose anchor points layouts both on the moving platform (MP) and on the base are equilateral triangles, followed by a method to extract the SERW boundary where cables do not interfere with each other. The other is searching the SERWs boundaries of a general three-cable CDPR with randomly selected geometry arrangement. The presented method in this paper is universal for calculating the SERWs of spatial three-cable CDPRs with arbitrary geometry parameters.

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