Special Issue "Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020"

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Di Gregorio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LaMaViP, Department of Engineering, University of Ferrara, 44122 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: kinematics; dynamics; mechanism and machine theory; parallel manipulators; robot mechanics; biomechanics; vehicle mechanics; robotics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Scientific Committee

- Massimo Callegari, Polytechnic University of Marche (Italy)
- Juan Antonio Carretero, University of New Brunswick (Canada)
- Yan Chen, Tianjin University (China)
- Daniel Condurache, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iași (Romania)
- Xilun Ding, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics (China)
- Mary Frecker, Penn State - College of Engineering (USA)
- Clement Gosselin, Laval University (Canada)
- Just Herder, TU Deft (Netherlands)
- Larry Howell, Brigham Young University (USA)
- Xianwen Kong, Heriot-Watt University (UK)
- Pierre Larochelle, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (USA)
- Giovanni Legnani, University of Brescia (Italy)
- Haitao Liu, Tianjin University (China)
- Daniel Martins, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil)
- Andreas Mueller, Johannes Kepler Universität (Austria)
- Andrew Murray, University of Dayton (USA)
- Leila Notash, Queen's University (Canada)
- Matteo Palpacelli, Polytechnic University of Marche (Italy)
- Alba Perez, Remy Robotics, Barcelona (Spain)
- Victor Petuya, University of the Basque Country (Spain)
- José Maria Rico Martinez, Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico)
- Nina Robson, California State University, Fullerton (USA)
- Jon M. Selig, London South Bank University (UK)
- Bruno Siciliano, University of Naples Federico II (Italy)
- Tao Sun, Tianjin University (China)
- Yukio Takeda, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
- Federico Thomas, Institute of Industrial Robotics  (Spain)
- Volkert Van Der Wijk, TU Deft (Netherlands)

Dear Colleagues,

KaRD2020 is the third issue of the KaRD series, hosted by MDPI Robotics. The KaRD series of open-source Special Issues is characterized by cheap publication costs (350 EUR/paper of APC), which are comparable with the registration fee of a small international congress, and tries to implement the “virtual conference” concept in the field of “Kinematics and Robot Design”. As an international conference, starting from this year, a scientific committee, composed of researchers coming from all over the world, will support and supervise the guest editor’s activity.

Kinematics enters in many aspects of robot design. Type synthesis, dimensional synthesis, kinematic analysis, singularity analysis, workspace determination, performance measures, accuracy analysis, path planning, and obstacle avoidance are only some of these. Moreover, it is central when building dynamic models for simulation purposes.

Robotics is pervading many fields of social interest. For instance, healthcare with robotized medical devices and rehabilitation devices needs studies on both human biomechanics and on mechanism synthesis, which involve kinematics.

KaRD2020 provides a good opportunity for presenting research results that are immediately readable and usable by other researchers. In particular, submitting authors

- are able to submit also accompanying multimedia material;
- can request the “open peer review” during the submission;
- are immediately able to upload, as a preprint, on https://www.preprints.org/ the paper version submitted for review, where it will receive a DOI and will be readable/citable by other researchers;
- after the possible paper acceptance and the publication on Robotics, are able to upload their published paper on many social networks for researchers (e.g., ResearchGate.net), where they can publicly or privately interact with other researchers to start a discussion on the published results.

In short, the KaRD series is a virtual agora, where researchers present and discuss their results and wishes to become a reference point for the scientific community.

The Special Issue aims at collecting recent researches on all of the below-listed topics. Nevertheless, review papers are welcome, too.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • synthesis of mechanisms
  • theoretical and computational kinematics
  • robot modeling and simulation
  • kinematics in robot control
  • position analysis
  • mobility and singularity analysis
  • performance measures
  • accuracy analysis
  • path planning and obstacle avoidance
  • novel manipulator architectures
  • metamorphic mechanisms
  • compliant mechanism analysis and synthesis
  • micro/nanomanipulator design
  • origami-based robotics
  • medical and rehabilitation robotics
  • kinematics in biological systems, humanoid robots, and humanoid subsystems
  • education in robotics

Raffaele Di Gregorio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs), but it is reduced to 350 EUR for the submission to this special issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mechanism synthesis
  • kinematic analysis
  • robot modeling and simulation
  • robot control
  • singularity analysis
  • performance measures
  • accuracy analysis
  • path planning
  • parallel manipulator
  • serial manipulator
  • robot design
  • compliant mechanism
  • micro/nanomanipulator
  • origami
  • medical and rehabilitation robotics
  • biomechanics

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Cyclicity of Kinematic Resolution Methods for Serial and Parallel Planar Manipulators
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010009 - 03 Jan 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Kinematic redundancy of manipulators is a well-understood topic, and various methods were developed for the redundancy resolution in order to solve the inverse kinematics problem, at least for serial manipulators. An important question, with high practical relevance, is whether the inverse kinematics solution [...] Read more.
Kinematic redundancy of manipulators is a well-understood topic, and various methods were developed for the redundancy resolution in order to solve the inverse kinematics problem, at least for serial manipulators. An important question, with high practical relevance, is whether the inverse kinematics solution is cyclic, i.e., whether the redundancy solution leads to a closed path in joint space as a solution of a closed path in task space. This paper investigates the cyclicity property of two widely used redundancy resolution methods, namely the projected gradient method (PGM) and the augmented Jacobian method (AJM), by means of examples. Both methods determine solutions that minimize an objective function, and from an application point of view, the sensitivity of the methods on the initial configuration is crucial. Numerical results are reported for redundant serial robotic arms and for redundant parallel kinematic manipulators. While the AJM is known to be cyclic, it turns out that also the PGM exhibits cyclicity. However, only the PGM converges to the local optimum of the objective function when starting from an initial configuration of the cyclic trajectory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Kinematic Optimization for the Design of a Collaborative Robot End-Effector for Tele-Echography
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010008 - 01 Jan 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Tele-examination based on robotic technologies is a promising solution to solve the current worsening shortage of physicians. Echocardiography is among the examinations that would benefit more from robotic solutions. However, most of the state-of-the-art solutions are based on the development of specific robotic [...] Read more.
Tele-examination based on robotic technologies is a promising solution to solve the current worsening shortage of physicians. Echocardiography is among the examinations that would benefit more from robotic solutions. However, most of the state-of-the-art solutions are based on the development of specific robotic arms, instead of exploiting COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) arms to reduce costs and make such systems affordable. In this paper, we address this problem by studying the design of an end-effector for tele-echography to be mounted on two popular and low-cost collaborative robots, i.e., the Universal Robot UR5, and the Franka Emika Panda. In the case of the UR5 robot, we investigate the possibility of adding a seventh rotational degree of freedom. The design is obtained by kinematic optimization, in which a manipulability measure is an objective function. The optimization domain includes the position of the patient with regards to the robot base and the pose of the end-effector frame. Constraints include the full coverage of the examination area, the possibility to orient the probe correctly, have the base of the robot far enough from the patient’s head, and a suitable distance from singularities. The results show that adding a degree of freedom improves manipulability by 65% and that adding a custom-designed actuated joint is better than adopting a native seven-degrees-freedom robot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
A Feasibility Study of a Robotic Approach for the Gluing Process in the Footwear Industry
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010006 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Manufacturing processes in the shoe industry are still characterized to a large extent by human labour, especially in small and medium craft enterprises. Even when machinery is adopted to support manufacturing operations, in most cases an operator has to supervise or carry out [...] Read more.
Manufacturing processes in the shoe industry are still characterized to a large extent by human labour, especially in small and medium craft enterprises. Even when machinery is adopted to support manufacturing operations, in most cases an operator has to supervise or carry out the task. On the other hand, craft footwear industries are called to respond to continuous challenges to face the globalization effects, so that a rapid adaptability to customer needs is required. The industry 4.0 paradigms, which are taking place in the industrial environments, represent an excellent opportunity to improve the efficiency and quality of production, and a way to face international competitors. This paper analyses and proposes a robotic cell to automatize the process of glue deposition on shoe upper, which exploits a new means of depositing the glue compared to State-of-Art applications. While the latter mainly adopt glue gun spraying systems or pneumatic syringes, the proposed robotic cell is based on an extrusion system for the deposition of molten material originally in the form of a filament, similar to all extent to those adopted for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). Two cell solutions are designed and tested. In the former the extruder is the robot end effector and the shoe upper is grounded to the cell frame. In the second, being the reciprocal, the shoe last is clamped to the robot wrist and the extruder is fixed to the cell frame. The peculiarities of the two solutions are pointed out and compared in terms of cell layout, hardware, programming software and possibility to develop collaborative applications. A self developed slicing software allows designing the trajectories for glue deposition based on the CAD model of the shoe upper, also allowing driving the inclination of the extruder nozzle with respect to the vectors normal to the upper surface. Both the proposed cell layouts permit to achieve good quality and production times. The solution with the mobile extruder is able to deposit glue at highest end-effector speed (up to 200 mm/s). On the other hand, the solution with the mobile shoe upper and fixed extruder seems to be more appropriate to enhance collaborative applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Automatic Robotic Procedure for Machining of Skull Prosthesis
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040108 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
The project presented in this paper develops within the field of automation in the medical-surgical sector. It aims at automating the process for the realization of prosthetic devices for the skull in cranioplasty, following a craniotomy intervention for brain tumor removal. The paper [...] Read more.
The project presented in this paper develops within the field of automation in the medical-surgical sector. It aims at automating the process for the realization of prosthetic devices for the skull in cranioplasty, following a craniotomy intervention for brain tumor removal. The paper puts emphasis on the possibility to create the prosthetic device in run-time during the surgery, in order to ease the work that surgeons have to do during the operation. Generally, a skull prosthesis is realized before the day of the intervention, based on the plan of the medical operation, on the results of computed tomography, and through image processing software. However, after the surgery is performed, a non-negligible geometrical uncertainty can be found between the part of the skull actually removed and the cut planned during the preliminary analysis, so that the realized prosthesis (or even the skull, at worse) may need to be retouched. This paper demonstrates the possibility to introduce a fully automated process in a hospital environment, to manufacture in runtime the prosthetic operculum, relying on the actual geometry of the incision of the skull detected during the intervention. By processing a 3D scan of the skull after the craniectomy, a digital model of the prosthesis can be created and then used as an input to generate the code to be run by a robotic system in charge of the workpiece machining. Focusing on this second step, i.e., the manufacturing process, the work describes the way the dimensions of the raw material block are automatically selected, and the way robot trajectories for milling operation are automatically generated. Experimental validation demonstrates the possibility to complete the prosthesis within the surgery time, thus increasing the accuracy of the produced prosthesis and consequently reducing the time needed to complete the operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Soft Grippers with Modular Actuated Embedded Constraints
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040105 - 06 Dec 2020
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Underactuated, modular and compliant hands and grippers are interesting solutions in grasping and manipulation tasks due to their robustness, versatility, and adaptability to uncertainties. However, this type of robotic hand does not usually have enough dexterity in grasping. The implementation of some specific [...] Read more.
Underactuated, modular and compliant hands and grippers are interesting solutions in grasping and manipulation tasks due to their robustness, versatility, and adaptability to uncertainties. However, this type of robotic hand does not usually have enough dexterity in grasping. The implementation of some specific features that can be represented as “embedded constraints” allows to reduce uncertainty and to exploit the role of the environment during the grasp. An example that has these characteristics is the Soft ScoopGripper a gripper that has a rigid flat surface in addition to a pair of modular fingers. In this paper, we propose an upgraded version of the Soft ScoopGripper, developed starting from the limits shown by the starting device. The new design exploits a modular structure to increase the adaptability to the shape of the objects that have to be grasped. In the proposed device the embedded constraint is no rigid neither unactuated and is composed of an alternation of rigid and soft modules, which increase versatility. Moreover, the use of soft material such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) reduces the risk of damage to the object being grasped. In the paper, the main design choices have been exploited and a finite element method (FEM) analysis through static simulation supports a characterization of the proposed solution. A complete prototype and some preliminary tests have been presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
A Planar Parallel Device for Neurorehabilitation
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040104 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
The patient population needing physical rehabilitation in the upper extremity is constantly increasing. Robotic devices have the potential to address this problem, however most of the rehabilitation robots are technically advanced and mainly designed for clinical use. This paper presents the development of [...] Read more.
The patient population needing physical rehabilitation in the upper extremity is constantly increasing. Robotic devices have the potential to address this problem, however most of the rehabilitation robots are technically advanced and mainly designed for clinical use. This paper presents the development of an affordable device for upper-limb neurorehabilitation designed for home use. The device is based on a 2-DOF five-bar parallel kinematic mechanism. The prototype has been designed so that it can be bound on one side of a table with a clamp. A kinematic optimization was performed on the length of the links of the manipulator in order to provide the optimum kinematic behaviour within the desired workspace. The mechanical structure was developed, and a 3D-printed prototype was assembled. The prototype embeds two single-point load cells to measure the force exchanged with the patient. Rehabilitation-specific control algorithms are described and tested. Finally, an experimental procedure is performed in order to validate the accuracy of the position measurements. The assessment confirms an acceptable level of performance with respect to the requirements of the application under analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Design of a 6-DOF Platform for Micro-Positioning
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040099 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Parallel kinematic machines (PKMs) have demonstrated their potential in many applications when high stiffness and accuracy are needed, even at micro- and nanoscales. The present paper is focused on the functional design of a parallel platform providing high accuracy and repeatability in full [...] Read more.
Parallel kinematic machines (PKMs) have demonstrated their potential in many applications when high stiffness and accuracy are needed, even at micro- and nanoscales. The present paper is focused on the functional design of a parallel platform providing high accuracy and repeatability in full spatial motion. The hexaglide architecture with 6-PSS kinematics was demonstrated as the best solution according to the specifications provided by an important Italian company active in the field of micro-positioning, particularly in vacuum applications. All the steps needed to prove the applicability of such kinematics at the microscale and their inherent advantages are presented. First, the kinematic model of the manipulator based on the study’s parametrization is provided. A global conditioning index (GCI) is proposed in order to optimize the kinetostatic performance of the robot, so that precise positioning in the required platform workspace is guaranteed avoiding singular configurations. Some numerical simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the study. Finally, some details about the realization of a physical prototype are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Optimization Selection of Position Analysis Route on the Forward Position Solutions of Parallel Mechanisms
Robotics 2020, 9(4), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9040093 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
The forward position solution (FPS) of any complex parallel mechanism (PM) can be solved through solving in sequence all of the independent loops contained in the PM. Therefore, when solving the positions of a PM, all independent loops, especially the first loop, must [...] Read more.
The forward position solution (FPS) of any complex parallel mechanism (PM) can be solved through solving in sequence all of the independent loops contained in the PM. Therefore, when solving the positions of a PM, all independent loops, especially the first loop, must be correctly selected. The optimization selection criterion of the position analysis route (PAR) proposed for the FPS is presented in this paper, which can not only make kinematics modeling and solving efficient but also make it easy to get its symbolic position solutions. Two three-translation PMs are used as the examples to illustrate the optimization selection of their PARs and obtain their symbolic position solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel 3-URU Architecture with Actuators on the Base: Kinematics and Singularity Analysis
Robotics 2020, 9(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9030060 - 31 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1450
Abstract
Translational parallel manipulators (TPMs) with DELTA-like architectures are the most known and affirmed ones, even though many other TPM architectures have been proposed and studied in the literature. In a recent patent application, this author has presented a TPM with three equal limbs [...] Read more.
Translational parallel manipulators (TPMs) with DELTA-like architectures are the most known and affirmed ones, even though many other TPM architectures have been proposed and studied in the literature. In a recent patent application, this author has presented a TPM with three equal limbs of Universal-Revolute-Universal (URU) type, with only one actuated joint per limb, which has overall size and characteristics similar to DELTA robots. The presented translational 3-URU architecture is different from other 3-URUs, proposed in the literature, since it has the actuators on the frame (base) even though the actuated joints are not on the base, and it features a particular geometry. Choosing the geometry and the actuated joints highly affects 3-URU’s behavior. Moreover, putting the actuators on the base allows a substantial reduction of the mobile masses, thus promising good dynamic performances, and makes the remaining part of the limb a simple chain constituted by only passive R-pairs. The paper addresses the kinematics and the singularity analysis of this novel TPM and proves the effectiveness of the new design choices. The results presented here form the technical basis for the above-mentioned patent application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Kineto-Elasto-Static Design of Underactuated Chopstick-Type Gripper Mechanism for Meal-Assistance Robot
Robotics 2020, 9(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics9030050 - 30 Jun 2020
Viewed by 2018
Abstract
Our research aims at developing a meal-assistance robot with vision system and multi-gripper that enables frail elderly to live more independently. This paper presents a development of a chopstick-type gripper for a meal-assistance robot, which is capable of adapting its shape and contact [...] Read more.
Our research aims at developing a meal-assistance robot with vision system and multi-gripper that enables frail elderly to live more independently. This paper presents a development of a chopstick-type gripper for a meal-assistance robot, which is capable of adapting its shape and contact force with the target food according to the size and the stiffness. By solely using position control of the driving motor, the above feature is enabled without relying on force sensors. The gripper was designed based on the concept of planar 2-DOF under-actuated mechanism composed of a pair of four-bar chains having a torsion spring at one of the passive joints. To clarify the gripping motion and relationship among the contact force, food’s size and stiffness, and gripping position, kineto-elasto-static analysis of the mechanism was carried out. It was found from the result of the analysis that the mechanism was able to change its gripping force according to the contact position with the target object, and this mechanical characteristic was utilized in its grasp planning in which the position for the gripping the object was determined to realize a simple control system, and sensitivity of the contact force due to the error of the stiffness value was revealed. Using a three-dimensional (3D) printed prototype, an experiment to measure the gripping force by changing the contact position was conducted to validate the mechanism feature that can change its gripping force according to the size and the stiffness and the contact force from the analysis results. Finally, the gripper prototype was implemented to a 6-DOF robotic arm and an experiment to grasp real food was carried out to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed grasp planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinematics and Robot Design III, KaRD2020)
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