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Robotics 2018, 7(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics7040064

Spacecraft Robot Kinematics Using Dual Quaternions

School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
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These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 12 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design I, KaRD2018)
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Abstract

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in servicing orbiting satellites. In most cases, in-orbit servicing relies on the use of spacecraft-mounted robotic manipulators to carry out complicated mission objectives. Dual quaternions, a mathematical tool to conveniently represent pose, has recently been adopted within the space industry to tackle complex control problems during the stages of proximity operations and rendezvous, as well as for the dynamic modeling of robotic arms mounted on a spacecraft. The objective of this paper is to bridge the gap in the use of dual quaternions that exists between the fields of spacecraft control and fixed-base robotic manipulation. In particular, we will cast commonly used tools in the field of robotics as dual quaternion expressions, such as the Denavit-Hartenberg parameterization, or the product of exponentials formula. Additionally, we provide, via examples, a study of the kinematics of different serial manipulator configurations, building up to the case of a completely free-floating robotic system. We provide expressions for the dual velocities of the different types of joints that commonly arise in industrial robots, and we end by providing a collection of results that cast convex constraints commonly encountered by space robots during proximity operations in terms of dual quaternions. View Full-Text
Keywords: spacecraft; robotics; dual quaternions; kinematics spacecraft; robotics; dual quaternions; kinematics
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Valverde, A.; Tsiotras, P. Spacecraft Robot Kinematics Using Dual Quaternions. Robotics 2018, 7, 64.

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