Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by Paul Bosscher
Thursday, May 6, 2004

(Dr. Imme Ebert-Uphoff, Chair)

"Stability Measures and Wrench-Feasible Workspace Generation Techniques for Cable-Driven Robots"


Cable robots are a type of robotic manipulator that has recently attracted interest for large workspace manipulation tasks. Cable robots are relatively simple in form, with multiple cables attached to a mobile platform or end-effector. The end-effector is manipulated by motors that can extend or retract the cables.

Cable robots have many desirable characteristics, including low inertial properties, high payload-to-weight ratios, potentially vast workspaces, transportability, ease of disassembly/reassembly, reconfigurability and economical construction and maintenance. However, relatively few analytical tools are available for analyzing and designing these manipulators.

This thesis will focus on developing a theoretical framework for the design and analysis of cable robots. To date this research has focused on issues of stability and workspace generation. A stability measure for general underconstrained single-body cable robots has been developed. Additionally, a wrench-based method of analyzing cable robots has been developed and was used to develop a method of generating the wrench-feasible workspaces for point-mass cable robots. Proposed continuations of this research include extending the stability measure to cable robots with multi-body end-effectors and extending the workspace generation method to more general cable robots.