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We present NIMS3D, a novel 3-D cabled robot for actuated sensing applications. We provide a brief overview of the main hardware components. Next, we describe installation procedures, including novel calibration methods, that enable rapid in-field deployability for nonexpert end users, and provide simulations and experimental results to highlight their effectiveness. Kinematic and dynamic analysis of the system are provided, followed by a description of control methods. We provide experimental results that illustrate tracking of linear and nonlinear paths by NIMS3D. Thereafter, we briefly present an example of an actuated sensing task performed by the system. Finally, we describe methods of improving energy efficiency by leveraging nonlinear trajectories and energy-optimal tension distributions. Experimental and simulated results show that energy efficiency can be improved significantly by using optimized parabolic trajectories. Furthermore, we provide simulation results that demonstrate improved efficiency enabled by optimal, least norm tension distributions.
Date of Publication: April 2009