An Overview of Formulae for the Higher-Order Kinematics of Lower-Pair Chains with Applications in Robotics and Mechanism Theory

by   Andreas Mueller, et al.

The motions of mechanisms can be described in terms of screw coordinates by means of an exponential mapping. The product of exponentials (POE) describes the configuration of a chain of bodies connected by lower pair joints. The kinematics is thus given in terms of joint screws. The POE serves to express loop constraints for mechanisms as well as the forward kinematics of serial manipulators. Besides the compact formulations, the POE gives rise to purely algebraic relations for derivatives wrt. joint variables. It is known that the partial derivatives of the instantaneous joint screws (columns of the geometric Jacobian) are determined by Lie brackets the joint screws. Lesser-known is that derivative of arbitrary order can be compactly expressed by Lie brackets. This has significance for higher-order forward/inverse kinematics and dynamics of robots and multibody systems. Various relations were reported but are scattered in the literature and insufficiently recognized. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the relevant relations. Its original contributions are closed form and recursive relations for higher-order derivatives and Taylor expansions of various kinematic relations. Their application to kinematic control and dynamics of robotic manipulators and multibody systems is discussed.


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