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Abstract: The subject of this paper is the isotropic design of a hybrid mechanism intended for three-axis machining applications. Parallel mechanisms are interesting alternative designs in this context. We compare machine-tool mechanism, with a hybrid serial parallel structure, of which we optimize the first two-axis subsystem, i.e. the table of the machine tool. The comparative study is conducted on the basis of a prescribed workspace and given kinetostatic performance. The two-degree-of-freedom mechanisms analyzed in this paper can be extended to three-axis machines by adding a third axis in series with the first two.



1.1 Serial Mechanism with Three Degrees of Freedom Most industrial machine tools use a simple PPP serial kinematic chain with three orthogonal prismatic joint axes (Figure 1). In this case, the motion in the XY plane and the motion along the Z-axis, where the axis of rotation of the tool is located. The problem of the PPP mechanism is that the actuator controlling the Y-axis supports at the same time the workpiece and the actuator controlling the displacement of the X-axis, which affects the dynamic performance. To solve this problem, it is possible to use more suitable architectures like parallel or hybrid mechanisms. For a PPP mechanism, Figure 1: Traditional mechanism of three-axis machine tool the kinematic model takes the form . . J = p, with J = 13 3 . . . . . . . . where p= [x y z]T is the velocity-vector of the tool center P and = [1 2 3]T is the velocity-vector of the prismatic joints. The Jacobian matrix J being the identity matrix, the manipulability and force [Yoshikawa 85] ellipsoids are both a unit sphere for all configurations in the Cartesian workspace. The aim of this paper is to replace this structure by a hybrid serial-parallel mechanism. 1.2 Planar Parallel Mechanisms with Two Degrees of Freedom We focus on a two-DOF parallel mechanism, Figure 2, for the motion of the table of
T.H.E. Editor(s) (ed.), Book title, 16. 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

D. CHABLAT, PH. WENGER, J. ANGELES the machine tool depicted in Figure 1.

and the The joint variables are and associated with the two prismatic joints output variables are the Cartesian coordinates of the tool center P =[x y] . The angles an mechanism can be parameterized by the lengths L and L , the d , the position of points A and B, and the actuated joint ranges and . To reduce the number of design variables, we set L = L and = . Th is simplification also provides symmetry and, in turn, reduces the manufacturing costs. To control the orientation of the reference frame attached to the tool cente r point P, two parallelograms can be used, which also increases the rigidity of the structure, Figure 3. The dimensioning of the parallelogram links is out side of the scope of the paper. However, the rigidity of the structure as well as the joint limits of the passive joints depends on the technological solutions adopted for their design. To produce the third motion of the machine tool, it is possible to place orthogonally a third prismatic joint on top of the first two. Th is one can be loc ated as in the case of Figure 1. 1.3 Kinematics of Planar Parallel Mechanisms . The velocity p of point P can be expressed in two different ways. By traversing the closed loop (ACP-BDP) in the two possible directions, we obtain where E is a matrix of rotation through 90, c and d representing . the. position vectors of the points C and D, respectively. Moreover, the velocities c and d of the points C and D are given by c - a . cos( ) . . d - b . cos( ) . . c= = sin( ) , d = = sin( ) ||c - a|| ||d - b|| where the angles and are the orientations of the prismatic from line . . actuators AB of Figs. 2 and 3. We would like to eliminate the two idle joint rates and from equations (1), which we do upon dot-multiply the former by (p - c)and the latter by (p - d) , thus obtaining
Figure 2: Parallel mechanism with two degrees of freedom
1 2

Figure 3: Parallel mechanism with two degrees of freedom with control of the orientation

1 T


T . T c-a . T . T d-b . and (p - d) p = (p - d) (p - c) p = (p - c) ||c - a|| 1 ||d - b|| 2

3 (2)

. . Equations (2) can now be cast in vector form, namely, A p = B . , with A and B denoted, respectively, as the parallel . and serial Jacobian matrices, defined as the vector of actuated joint rates and p is the velocity of point P, i.e., A . (p-c)T . . T c-a T d- b . T , B (p-c) ||c-a||,0,0, (p-d) ||d-b|| , = 1 , 2 , p= (p-d)

[ x. , y. ]

When A and B are not singular, we obtain the relations, . . . . p = J with J = A-1 B and = K p with K = B-1 A We base our design on the Jacobian matrix K. 1.4 Parallel Singularities Parallel singularities occur when the determinant of A vanishes [Chablat 98], i.e. when det(A) = 0. In the presence of such a singularity, the tool center P can move with the actuators locked.

Figure 4: Parallel singularity

Figure 5: Structural singularity

These singularities are to be avoided, because the structure cannot resist any force, and control is lost. To avoid any performance deterioration, it is necessary to limit the range of the actuated joints. For the mechanism under study, parallel singularities occur whenever the points C, D, and P are aligned (Figure 4), i.e. when 1 - 2 = k , for k = 1,2,..... These singularities are located inside the Cartesian workspace and form the boundaries of the joint workspace. Moreover, structural singularities can occur when L1 = L2 (Figure 5). In these configurations, the control of point P is lost. 1.5 Serial Singularities Serial singularities occur when det(B) = 0. In the presence of theses singularities, there is a direction along which no Cartesian velocity can be produced. Serial

D. CHABLAT, PH. WENGER, J. ANGELES singularities define the boundary of the Cartesian workspace [Merlet 97]. For the mechanism under study, serial singularities occur whenever 1 - 1 = / 2 + k , or 2 - 2 = / 2 + k , for k = 1, 2,..., i.e. whenever AC is orthogonal to CP or BD is orthogonal to D P. 1.6 Application to Machine-Tool Design For a three-axis machine tool, as that in Figure 1, the table moves along two perpendicular axes. The joint limits of each actuator determine the dimension of the Cartesian workspace. For the parallel mechanisms under study, this transformation is not direct. The resulting Cartesian workspace is more complex and its size smaller for equal strokes of the actuators. We want to have a Cartesian workspace which will be close to the Cartesian workspace of an industrial serial machine tool. For our two-DOF mechanism, we prescribe a rectangular Cartesian workspace. In addition, the workspace must be reduced to a t-connected region, i.e. a region free of serial and parallel singularities. Finally, we want to prescribe relatively stable kinetostatic properties in the workspace. 2. ISOTROPIC DESIGN 2.1 Matrix Condition Number During our process of design, we will define the loci of equal condition number of the Jacobian matrices. To do this, we first recall the definition of the condition number (M) of an m n, matrix M with m n. This number can be defined in various ways; for our purposes, we define (M) as the ratio of the largest, l, to the m smallest, s singular values of M [Golub 89]. The singular values {k}1 of matrix M are defined as the square roots of the nonnegative eigenvalues of the positive semi-definite m m matrix M MT. 2.2 Conditioning of the Parallel Jacobian Matrix To calculate the condition number of A, we need the product AAT, which we calculate below: 1 cos(1 - 2) 2 AAT = L1 cos( - ) 1 1 2 The eigenvalues 1 and 2 2 of the above product are given by 2 1 = L1 (1 + cos(1 - 2)) and 2 = L1 (1 - cos(1 - 2)). Upon simplification, the condition number of matrix A is: (A) = 1 / |tan((2 - 1) / 2)| In light of the above equation, it is apparent that (A) attains its minimum of 1


when |1 - 2| = / 2 + k for k=1, 2, .... At the other end of the spectrum, (A) when |1 - 2| = k , for k=1, 2, .... The configurations for which (A) = 1 are called isotropic (Figure 7), whereas configurations for which (A) are the parallel singularities of the manipulator (Figure 4). The study of the conditioning of A enables us to find a set of configurations for which A is isotropic. These conditions, however, do not give to the orientations 1 and 2 of the actuated joints. 2.3. Conditioning of the Serial Jacobian Matrix By virtue of the diagonal form of B, its singular values, 1 and 2, are simply the absolute values of it diagonal entries. The condition number (B) of B is thus (B) = max 0 cos(1 - 1) with B L1 0 cos(2 - 2) min

then min = |cos(1 - 1)| and where, if |cos(1 - 1)| < |cos(2 - 2)| max = |cos(2 - 2)|, else, min = |cos(2 - 2)| and max = |cos(1 - 1)|. It is apparent that (B) attains its minimum of 1 when |cos(1 - 1)| = |cos(2 - 2)| 0. At the other end of the spectrum, (B) when |cos(1 - 1)| = 0 or |cos(2 - 2)| = 0. The configurations for which (B)=1 are the isotropic configurations and the configurations for which (B) are the serial singularities. As for the study of the conditioning of matrix B, the isotropy conditions of the matrix B do not give the orientations 1 and 2 of the actuators. 2.4. Conditioning of the Kinematic Jacobian Matrix To define the orientation of the prismatic joints, we study the conditioning of the Jacobian matrix K given in the equation (3b). In this case, matrices B-1 and K are written simply,
T 1 (1/c1) 0 (1/c1) (p - c) B-1=L 0 (1/c ) , K= T with ci = cos(i - i), i = 1, 2 2 1 (1/c2) (p - d)

The isotropy conditions of the matrix K are, (1/c1) ||p - c|| =(1/c2) ||p - d|| and (p - c)T (p - d) = 0 Now, we set 1 = 0 and 2 = / 2 in order to have K= 122 in the isotropic configuration when 1 = 0 and 2 = / 2. In this configuration, a motion of the prismatic joint 1 produces a motion along X (Figure 7), and a motion of the prismatic joint 2 produces a motion along Y as a machine tool with a PP architecture.


Figure 6: Motion of the point P generated by the motion of the joint 1

Figure 7: Isotropic configuration

Moreover, if we place point A at the origin and B at (M M) (Figure 7), the values of 1 and 2 are equal when the manipulator reaches its isotropic configuration. This remark enables us to study the problem of velocity amplification due to the parallel mechanism. Indeed, in the case of a serial mechanism with three linear axes of motion, a motion of an actuated joint yields the same motion of the tool (or of the workpiece). For parallel mechanisms, these motions are not equivalent. When the manipulator is close to a parallel singularity, there is an amplification of motion (or velocity), i.e. a unit motion of one actuated joint can produce a motion of the tool which is several times larger. Thus, to move the tool with a constant accuracy, the precision of the actuated joints must be very high. 2.5. Study of the Joint and Cartesian Workspaces In this study, we will see that isotropy conditions give very interesting properties for the manipulator under study. To this end, we study two mechanisms, one with coaxial actuators, of the biglide type (Figure 8), i.e. the mechanism most usually found, and the other with actuator axes at right angles, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 8: Biglide mechanism

Figure 9: Isotropic mechanism

To define the joint limits, we will study the manipulability ellipsoids of matrix K [Yoshikawa 85]. By using equation .(3), we can write velocity . . a relation between . T the T . p of point P and the joint velocity vector. With . || || 1, we have p KK p 1. Equation (4) defines the range of variation of p. The transformation of a unit circle of the whole joint workspace by matrix KKT gives an ellipse in the Cartesian workspace [Lallemand 94]. The square roots 1 and 2 of the eigenvalues of matrix


KKT are the values of the semi-axes of the ellipse which define the two velocityamplification factors, 1 = 1 / 1 and 2 = 1 / 2, according to these principal axes. To limit the variations of this factor in the Cartesian workspace, we set the constraints 1/3 < i < 3. (4)

This means that for a given joint velocity, the output velocity is at most three times larger or, at least, three times smaller than the velocity of P. This constraint also permits us to limit the loss of rigidity (velocity amplification lowers rigidity) and of accuracy (velocity amplification also amplifies the encoder resolution). The values in equation (4) were chosen as an example and should be defined precisely depending on the type of machining tasks. To be able to compare the two mechanisms studied here, the distance between points A and B is the same in two cases, as well as the lengths L1 and L2. Likewise, the scale factors of the joint and the Cartesian workspaces are also equal. In our design, we do not want any singular configuration in the Cartesian workspace. Also, the velocity-amplification factors are bounded in the Cartesain workspace when using the constraints introduced in equation (4). Thus, a useful joint workspace of a square shape is defined in the joint workspace as well as its image in the Cartesian workspace, which is the useful Cartesian workspace. In the case of the isotropic mechanism, the definition of a zone without singularities in the joint workspace, in the presence of constraints (4), leads to smaller joint limits than in the case of the biglide mechanism (Figures 10a and 11a). Moreover, the useful Cartesian workspace of the isotropic mechanism is better for machining because the registered square is seven times larger than that of the biglide mechanism (Figures 10b and 11b).

(b) (a) Figure 10: Joint and Cartesian workspaces for the biglide mechanism (a) (b)

Figure 11: Joint and Cartesian workspaces for the isotropic mechanism

For the isotropic mechanism, we show in Figure 12 the curves of iso-values of the velocity-amplification factors. It is noted that velocity amplification i varies within [0.4 , 1.6]. Moreover, if one limits a square zone in the useful Cartesian workspace, one observes that the constraints are reached only in one small zone (noted I), placed on the boundary.




Figure 12: Curves of iso-values of the factor of velocity amplification factor (a) 1 and (b) 2, in the useful Cartesian workspace of the isotropic mechanism 3. CONCLUSIONS Introduced in this paper is the isotropic design of a parallel mechanism with two degrees of freedom. The optimum design, based on the conditioning of the Jacobian matrices, led simultaneously to, good kinematic performance and a simple, regular Cartesian workspace free of singular configurations. The velocity amplification factor is used to define joint ranges. Its values are bounded by reasonably values in the workspace. Future work will aim at generalizing this mechanism to the spatial case, to obtain a parallel mechanism with three degrees of freedom. 12. REFERENCES
[Chablat 98]: Chablat D., " Domaines d'unicit et parcourabilit pour les manipulateurs pleinement parallles ", Thse de Doctorat, Nantes, Novembre, 1998. [Lallemand 94]: Lallemand, J.P. et S. Zeghoul, Robotique: Aspects fondamentaux, Masson, Paris, 1994. [Merlet 97]: Merlet J.P., Les robots parallles, 2me dition, Hermes, Paris, 1997. [Yoshikawa 85]: Yoshikawa T., " Manipulability and redundant control of mechanisms", Proc. IEEE, Int. Conf. Rob. And Aut., pp. 1004-1009, 1985. [Daniali 95]: Daniali M., " Contributions of the Kinematics Synthesis of Parallel Manipulators ", Thse de doctorat, McGill, 1995. [Gosselin 88]: Gosselin C., " Kinematic Analysis, Optimisation and Programming of Parallel robotic Manipulators ", Thse de doctorat, McGill, 1988. [Golub 89]: Golub G.H. et Van Loan C.F., Matrix Computations, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1989.

13. AFFILIATIONS D. Chablat, Ph. Wenger, Institut de Recherche en Communication et Cyberntique de Mantes, 1 rue de la No, 44321 Nantes, France. J. Angeles, McGill Centre for Intelligent Machines, McGill University, 817 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2K6.