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Self-calibration of parallel mechanisms with a case study on Stewart platforms

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1 Author(s)
Hanqi Zhuang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Florida Atlantic Univ., Boca Raton, FL, USA

Self-calibration has the potential of: 1) removing the dependence on any external pose sensing information; 2) producing high accuracy measurement data over the entire workspace of the system with an extremely fast measurement rate; 3) being automated and completely noninvasive; 4) facilitating on-line accuracy compensation; and 5) being cost effective. A general framework is introduced in this paper for the self-calibration of parallel manipulators. The concept of creating forward and inverse measurement residuals by exploring conflicting information provided with redundant sensing is proposed. Some of these ideas have been widely used for robot calibration when robot end-effector poses are available. By this treatment, many existing kinematic parameter estimation techniques can be applied for the self-calibration of parallel mechanisms. It is illustrated through a case study, i.e. calibration of the Stewart platform, that with this framework the design of a suitable self-calibration system and the formulation of the relevant mathematical model become more systematic. A few principles important to the system self-calibration are also demonstrated through the case study. It is shown that by installing a number of redundant sensors on the Stewart platform, the system is able to perform self-calibration. The approach provides a tool for rapid and autonomous calibration of the parallel mechanism

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 3 )