The Effect of Transmission Design on Force-Controlled Manipulator Performance
Previous research in force control has focused on the choice of appropriate servo implementation without corresponding regard to the choice of mechanical hardware. This report analyzes the effect of mechanical properties such as contact compliance, actuator-to-joint compliance, torque ripple, and highly nonlinear dry friction in the transmission mechanisms of a manipulator. A set of requisites for high performance then guides the development of mechanical-design and servo strategies for improved performance. A single-degree-of-freedom transmission testbed was constructed that confirms the predicted effect of Coulomb friction on robustness; design and construction of a cable-driven, four-degree-of- freedom, "whole-arm" manipulator illustrates the recommended design strategies.