Symbolic kinematics and dynamics analysis and control of a general Stewart parallel manipulator
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Application of parallel manipulator has received a lot of attention recently in the industry and the robotic community due to its high accuracy, high rigidity, high operation speed, high load capacity and high stiffness as compared with the conventional serial manipulator. One of the most popular parallel manipulators that are commonly used for aircraft simulator is the general purpose 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF) Stewart parallel manipulator. Despite these advantages, the kinematic and dynamic analyses are extremely complicated. Such models are important in terms of qualitative analysis of the required actuator forces to realize certain end-effector task (inverse dynamics), and computing the corresponding end-effector task based on certain input to the system (forward dynamics). However, till date, not much general symbolic solution is reported to aid the above process. Most of the prior work required some form of heuristic, or introduction of extra spring/damper elements to approximate the solutions. This thesis addresses the possibility in using the state-of-the-art symbolic manipulation software tool to derive the general kinematic and dynamic equation of motion of the system so that more accurate solution can be computed. However, there are still consideration are needed to accurately simulate such systems. We address these issues using the example of Stewart parallel manipulator and highlight the solution to the corresponding challenges. Control using stabilizing inverse dynamics was implemented to enhance trajectory tracking of the system.