Robotic manipulation of a rotating chain
Date of Issue2018
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Singapore Centre for 3D Printing
This paper considers the problem of manipulating a uniformly rotating chain: the chain is rotated at a constant angular speed around a fixed axis using a robotic manipulator. Manipulation is quasi-static in the sense that transitions are slow enough for the chain to be always in “rotational equilibrium.” The curve traced by the chain in a rotating plane-its shape function-can be determined by a simple force analysis, yet it possesses a complex multisolutions behavior that is typical of nonlinear systems. We prove that the configuration space of the uniformly rotating chain is homeomorphic to a two-dimensional surface embedded in R3. Using that representation, we devise a manipulation strategy for transiting between different rotation modes in a stable and controlled manner. We demonstrate the strategy on a physical robotic arm manipulating a rotating chain. Finally, we discuss how the ideas developed here might find fruitful applications in the study of other flexible objects, such as in circular aerial manipulation with UAVs.
IEEE Transactions on Robotics
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