The design of cable-driven manipulators is complicated by the unidirectional nature of the cables, which results in extra actuators and limited workspaces. Furthermore, the particular arrangement of the cables and the geometry of the robot pose have a significant effect on the cable tension required to effect a desired joint torque. For a sufficiently complex robot, the identification of a satisfactory cable architecture can be difficult and can result in multiply redundant actuators and performance limitations based on workspace size and cable tensions. This work leverages previous research into the workspace analysis of cable systems combined with stochastic optimization to develop a generalized methodology for designing optimized cable routings for a given robot and desired task. A cable-driven robot leg performing a walking-gait motion is used as a motivating example to illustrate the methodology application. The components of the methodology are described, and the process is applied to the example problem. An optimal cable routing is identified, which provides the necessary controllable workspace to perform the desired task and enables the robot to perform that task with minimal cable tensions. A robot leg is constructed according to this routing and used to validate the theoretical model and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the resulting cable architecture.

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