Modular Kinematic Analysis Of Planar Linkages
Chowdary, Sekhar V S C
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This thesis has developed an eﬃcient methodology for automatic kinematic analysis of planar linkages using the concept of modular kinematics. Unlike conventional general purpose kinematic analysis packages where each joint in the mechanism is represented using a set of non-linear constraint equations which need to be solved by some iterative numerical procedure, modular kinematics is based on the original observation by Assur that kinematic state of a mechanism involving large number of links can be constructed out of the kinematic states of patterns of sub chains called modules taken in a given sequence called module sequence which in turn emulates the step by step construction procedure of traditional graphical methods. The position, velocity and acceleration analysis of modules are available in closed form. Kinematic analysis of modules later in the sequence is enabled by those of the ones earlier in the sequence, hence, the kinematic analysis of a mechanism is accomplished without any iterative endeavor by doing the kinematics of the modules as given in the module sequence.  classiﬁed all modules into three fundamental types namely input, dyad and transformation and also introduced the concept of constraint module for analyzing graphically non-constructible mechanisms within the paradigm of modular kinematics where a small step of numerical search was needed in an over all closed form kinematic formulation. Module sequence for a mechanism using the modules is not unique. Choice of a later module in the sequence depends upon the selection of modules earlier in the sequence. This thesis has presented a systematic approach of identifying all such methods for all the inversions of the mechanism and represented in the form of a module hierarchy or a module tree where each path from root to the leaf node represents a valid module sequence for the kinematic chain in hand. The work also extended the set of modules by adding eight new modules to what has already been used in literature to make it complete in the sense that all planar mechanisms involving revolute, prismatic and pin-in-slot (including circular slots) can be handled. The computational eﬀort involved for analyzing these mechanisms thus depend on the number of constraint modules occurring in succession in the module sequence. However, maximum possible number of constraint modules in any mechanism with up to twelve links is only two. The derivative analysis also uses the same module sequence, but they are always devoid of any iterative steps. During the process of generation of a module sequence, at every stage multitude of modules could be identiﬁed for their potential placement in the sequence. But for every module sequence the diﬀerence between the number of input modules and that of constraint modules is constant and is equal to the kinematic degrees-of-freedom (d.o.f) of the mechanism. The algorithm presented in this thesis minimizes the number of generalized inputs (and hence extraneous constraints) and thus attempting to identify the simplest of the module sequences. In that sense the module sequences represented in the module tree are all optimal module sequences. The present work introduced the concept of multi phase modular kinematics which enables a large variety of mechanisms, conventionally identiﬁed as complex mechanisms, to be solved in closed form. This is achieved through the use of novel virtual link and virtual joints. Virtual link is slightly diﬀerent from a normal rigid link in the sense that the joint locations on this are functions of some independent parameters. Since, the locations of joints are not ﬁxed even in the local coordinate frame of the virtual link, the relative velocities between joints are not zero, they need to be appropriately accounted in kinematic analysis. The theory presented in the thesis is implemented in a computer program written in C++ on Windows platform and Graphics library (OpenGL) is used to display linkage conﬁgurations and simulations. The program takes the data of joints, input pairs, ground link in certain format through a ﬁle. Geometric models developed in any of the existing modeling softwares like ProE, Ideas, AutoCad etc. can be imported in VRML format to the links and in case of no geometric models a simple convex 2D geometry is created for each link for the purpose of visualization. Geometric import of links helps not only in understanding the simulations better but also in useful for dynamic analysis, dynamic motion analysis and interference analysis. A complete kinematic analysis (position, velocity and acceleration) is given for a four bar mechanism and illustrated the positional ( conﬁguration) analysis using modular kinematics for several other examples like old-ham, quick-return mechanisms etc. in the current work. Multi-phase modular approach is illustrated using a ﬁve bar with ﬂoating input pairs, a back actor and a drafter mechanism and the Back actor conﬁguration is shown with the imported link geometries. It is observed in practice that there are many apparently spatial Mechanisms, which are constructed out of symmetric dispositions of planar mechanisms in space. A pseudo spatial mechanism concept is proposed to solve this class of spatial mechanisms, which can actually be analyzed with the eﬀort of solving only one such component. This concept is illustrated with Shaker and Umbrella mechanisms. Possible extensions of the concept for modeling and analysis of more general class of pseudo-spatial mechanisms are also indicated.
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