Planning of Minimum-Time Trajectories for Robot Arms

Unknown author (1984-11-01)

The minimum-time for a robot arm has been a longstanding and unsolved problem of considerable interest. We present a general solution to this problem that involves joint-space tesselation, a dynamic time-scaling algorithm, and graph search. The solution incorporates full dynamics of movement and actuator constraints, and can be easily extended for joint limits and work space obstacles, but is subject to the particular tesselation scheme used. The results presented show that, in general the optimal paths are not straight lines, bit rather curves in joint-space that utilize the dynamics of the arm and gravity to help in moving the arm faster to its destination. Implementation difficulties due to the tesselation and to combinatorial proliferation of paths are discussed.