Stiffness Analysis of Cable-Driven Parallel Robots
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The aim of this thesis is the stiffness analysis of cable-driven parallel robots. Cable-driven parallel robots have drawn considerable attention because of their unique abilities and advantages such as the large workspace, light weight of cable actuators, easy disassembly and transportation of the robot. The mobile platform of a cable-driven parallel robot is attached to the base with multiple cables. One of the parameters that should be studied to make sure a robot is able to execute a task accurately is stiffness of the robot. In order to investigate the stiffness behaviour of a robot, the stiffness matrix can be calculated as the first step. Because cables act in tension, keeping the positive tension in cables becomes a challenge. In order to have a fully controllable robot, an actuation redundancy is needed. These complexities are addressed in the thesis and simulations. In this thesis, the complete form of the stiffness matrix is considered without neglecting any terms in calculation of the stiffness. Some stiffness indices such as single-dimensional stiffness based on stiffness ellipse, directional stiffness and condition number of the stiffness matrix are introduced and calculated and stiffness maps of the robot are developed. In addition, the issue of unit inconsistency in calculating the stiffness index is addressed. One of the areas which is also addressed in this thesis is failure analysis based on the stiffness of robot. The effect of the failure in one or more cables or motors is modelled and stiffness maps are developed for the failure situation. It is shown that by changing the anchor position and mobile platform orientation, the lost stiffness after failure of a cable or motor can be retrieved partially. Optimum anchor position and mobile platform orientation are identified to maximize the area of the stiffness map. Condition number of the stiffness matrix while robot is following a trajectory is optimized. In addition, when one cable fails during the path planning, the recovery of the robot is studied. Finally, these analyses on stiffness and failure provide the designer with the necessary and valuable information about the anchor positions and actuator toques.