M.S. Thesis Presentation by Kevin Johnson
Wednesday, December 15, 1999

(Dr. Imme Ebert-Uphoff, advisor)

"On the Development of Statically Balanced Parallel Platform Manipulators"

Abstract

 The idea of introducing static balancing to parallel
 platform mechanisms, which provide the motion base for
 flight simulators and other applications, has recently
 been explored.  If a mechanism is statically balanced
 its actuators do not need to support its weight, which
 allows the system to use smaller actuators and in turn
 be less expensive and use less energy.  This thesis
 focuses on the construction of a small mechanism of
 this type.  The complete design of the mechanism is
 explained.  The possible error in static balancing the
 actual mechanism is derived.  Final parameters for the
 mechanism are selected in an attempt to minimize this
 error and to satisfy certain requirements.  This is
 done in a way that someone with different customer
 requirements can follow a similar procedure and select
 parameters for those requirements.  The final
 manipulator could support a payload of 9 lbs. (4 kg),
 was about 20x20x20 inches (0.5x0.5x0.5 meters), and
 from its neutral position could move ±6.5 inches (0.17
 meters) in the x, y, and z directions and rotate over
 ±30 degrees about the three Euler angles.  This range
 of motion is better than a scaled-down standard flight
 simulator.