Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Design and Implementation of a Dual-Axis Tilting Quadcopter
Previous Article in Journal
Leaf Area Estimation of Reconstructed Maize Plants Using a Time-of-Flight Camera Based on Different Scan Directions
Previous Article in Special Issue
Non-Linear Lumped-Parameter Modeling of Planar Multi-Link Manipulators with Highly Flexible Arms
Article Menu
Issue 4 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Robotics 2018, 7(4), 64;

Spacecraft Robot Kinematics Using Dual Quaternions

School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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)
PDF [1575 KB, uploaded 13 October 2018]


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Valverde, A.; Tsiotras, P. Spacecraft Robot Kinematics Using Dual Quaternions. Robotics 2018, 7, 64.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Robotics EISSN 2218-6581 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top