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Simulation Studies on Dynamic Contact Force Between Mobile Robot

Manipulator and Surrounding Environment



DR.A.PURUSHOTHAM* J.ANJANEYULU
*Professor of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Sreenidhi Institute of Science & Technology Vasavi College of Engineering, Ibrahimbagh,
(An Autonomous Institution) Hyderabad -500 031, A.P., India
Hyderabad-501 301, A.P. India Email: anjaneyulu_jalleda@yahoo.co.in
Email : apurushotham@rediffmail.com



ABSTRACT: In mobile robotic manipulation
system , the tasks performed by manipulation
system create the impulse forces during the
operations .The impulse force generated due to
contact is the main mechanical disturbing force that
de-stabilizes the overall system. Therefore
controlling impulse force in dynamic environment
is essential task in mobile robot manipulation
system for the safety of robot. It is also realised that
the mechanical characteristics of the mobile
manipulator systems are the key factor for
decreasing dynamic impulse force and increasing
the whole safety. In this paper, a model of a mobile
robotic manipulating system is proposed to study
the characteristics of dynamic mutual interaction
force between the mobile robot Manipulation and
the surrounding Environment.

Key words: Mobile Manipulation, Surrounding,
Stiffness, Damping

I. INTRODUCTION

In the future, robots will take an active role
not only in industry, but also in human life.
Especially mobile robots are developed for
domestic services, waste disposal, earthquake
services, military services and entertainment. In all
these applications, the interaction between robot
and surrounding environment is an important for the
success of operations. A few number of scientific
publications and scientific congregations and events
in recent years form a new scientific area dedicated
to the mutual interaction mobile robots -
environment. Robots that share the space and
environments with human are named human-
centered robots [1]. Most of the safety aspects of
Mobile manipulators are connected with the mutual
interaction between mobile manipulator and the
work or surrounding environment. The impulse
force generated due to contact is the main
mechanical disturbing force that de-stabilizes the
overall system. Therefore controlling impulse force
in dynamic environment is essential task in mobile
robot manipulation system for the safety of robot.
Mobile robots have to meet the safety requirements
besides the traditional requirements for
performance. The mobile manipulator dynamic
disturbance depends on its mechanical, electrical
and software characteristics. It is known that by
means of sensors and feed backs can be cut off
some potential anomalies and to be avoided cases of
not desired contact or collision. But even the most
robust systems are not guaranteed of some
unpredictable electrical, sensor or even software
errors. That is why the mechanical characteristics of
the mobile manipulator systems are the key factor
for decreasing dynamic impulse force and
increasing the whole safety. In mobile robotic
manipulation system, the tasks performed by
manipulation system create the impulse forces
during the operations. In this paper a simple model
of mobile robotic manipulation system developed
along with mathematical relations and the influence
of the basic mechanical characteristics of
manipulator (i.e. stiffness, damping and inertia) is
studied in limiting the dynamic impulse force. The
safety of the system is realized in terms of reduced
impact forces. The choice of mechanical parameters
is shown with respect to impact interaction,
oscillation damping and contact configuration. The
DR.A.PURUSHOTHAM* et al. / (IJAEST) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES
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simulation studies are carried out using Matlab-
simulink software. The paper is organized as
follows: The problem formulation for the model of
mobile robot system is done in chapter-II. Chapter-
III gives the simulation results of the model. Finally
conclusions are drawn in chapter IV.

II. PROBLEM FORMULATION

Figure.1 shows the configuration of the mobile
manipulator. It resembles three link and three
degree freedom articulated robot. The only
difference is the base link is mounted on a platform
which has the translate degree of freedom in X-
direction. Thus the base link has two degrees of
freedom: rotation and translation. The surrounding
environment is assumed stationary when the contact
of end effector takes places. The mobile platform is
treated like a cylindre with height H[m] and
diameter D[m]. The joints of the manipulator are
presented like cylindres with length l
1
, l
2
, l
3
[m] and
diameters d[m].



Fig.1: Configuration of mobile manipulating system

The basics of the control approach of the dynamic
mutual interaction between the mobile robot
manipulation system and the surrounding
environment are founded by Neville Hogan in
1985[2]. This approach is called impedance control.
The dynamic force of the manipulator end effector
interaction with the surrounding environment can be
presented by the equality:

t V M V V B X X K F
cont
c c + = / ] [ ] [
0 0

(1)

For the mobile articulated manipulation shown in
Figure.1, various terms in equation (1) can be
written as
The contact force -

=
z
y
x
cont
F
F
F
F (2)

The stiffness

=
3 32 31
23 22 21
13 12 11
k k k
k k k
k k k
K (3)


The damping -

=
33 32 31
23 22 21
13 12 11
b b b
b b b
b b b
B (4)

The inertia -

=
33 32 31
23 22 21
13 12 11
I I I
I I I
I I I
M (5)
Parameters K, B and M are termed as impedance
parameters.

The position of end effector at the time t-

=
z
y
x
X
(6)
The velocity of end effector at the time t -

=
.
.
.
z
y
x
V
(7)

The position of end effector at the time t=t
0
----
0
0
0
0
0
=

=
t
z
y
x
X (8)

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The velocity of end effector at the time t=t
0
,
0
.
.
.
0
=

=
t
z
y
x
V (9)

It is important to produce manipulators possessing
naturally low impedance in order to achieve natural
safety in the mutual interaction robot-
surrounding. But, most of the up to date robot
manipulators designed so far possess high
effective impedance. [3]. The manipulation system
impedance must be specified to certain suitable
levels in order to increase the safety level. This can
be achieved by means of specifying separately the
components of the mechanical impedance: (i)
inertia, (ii) damping and (iii) stiffness.

If the end effector effective inertia is reduced then
the shock impulse force is also reduced because it is
dependent mainly on the inertia and on the
velocity variation. The effective inertia can be
actively modulated by means of feed backs and then
it is dependent on the characteristics of the close
loop control system. A series of restrictions exist
here such as driving forces and torques range,
sensor delays, stability problems and others.
Another inertia modulation approach is the passive
approach that requires kinematics redundancy in the
manipulation system. The redundant number of
degrees of mobility allows manipulator
configuration variation at the same positioning of
the end effector [4]. The configuration variation
yields new inertia M
q
in the system which is given
by

1
= J M J M
q
T
(10)

Where J is the Jacobean of the system.
For the configuration of shown in figure.1, the
Inertia and Jacobian can be calculated respectively
as:

=
3 32
23 22
11
0
0
0 0
q q
q q
q
q
I I
I I
I
M (11)
) ( cos 25 . 0 ) cos( cos cos ) 25 . 0 (
3 2
2 2
3 3 3 2 2 3 2 3 2
2 2
2 3 2 11
u u u u u u + + + + + = l m l l m l m m I
q

] 25 . 0 cos ) 25 . 0 [(
2
3 3 3 3 2 3
2
2 3 2 22
l m l l m l m m I
q
+ + + = u
3 3 2 3
2
3 3 23
cos 5 . 0 25 . 0 [( u l l m l m I
q
+ =
3 3 2 3
2
3 3 32
cos 5 . 0 25 . 0 [( u l l m l m I
q
+ =
2
3 3 33
25 . 0 [( l m I
q
=

=
33 32 31
23 22 21
13 12 11
J J J
J J J
J J J
J (12)
Where
)] cos( cos [ sin
3 2 3 2 2 1 11
u u u u + + = l l J
)] sin( sin [ cos
3 2 3 2 2 1 12
u u u u + + = l l J
)] sin( cos
3 2 1 3 13
u u u + = l J
)] cos( cos [ cos
3 2 3 2 2 1 21
u u u u + + = l l J
)] sin( sin [ sin
3 2 3 2 2 1 22
u u u u + + = l l J
)] sin( sin
3 2 1 3 23
u u u + = l J
0
31
= J
)] cos( cos
3 2 3 2 2 32
u u u + + = l l J
)] cos(
3 2 3 33
u u + = l J
T
q ] , , [
3 2 1
u u u =
Where q is joint angles of manipulator and (l
1
,l
2
,l
3
)
lengths of the arms of the manipulator.
The low inertia reduces the impulse force but after
collision in the phase of contact for the reduction of
the contact force major role act the compliance
qualities of the manipulator. Compliance is defined
for the increase of the safety level at contact in the
mechanical structure. Two basic approaches are
known active and passive for the stiffness
modulation to secure levels.
The active approach is based on the use of sensors
and position and force feed backs by means of
which a desired parametric proportion is balanced.
It guarantees a wide range of stiffness variation, but
it does not ensure high level of safety due to a low
resolution or noise of the sensors, long calculation
time and instability in the servo system.
The passive approach is realised by means of the
physical compliance of the robot limbs and/or
additional compliance mechanisms [5]. This
approach is independent of the servo systems, but
the range of the impedance parameter variation is
limited. Passive approach is more convenient.
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The configuration variation, as with the inertia,
defines transformations among the stiffness
matrixes and the compliance matrix in joint and
absolute co-ordinates as follows:

1
= J K J K
q
T
(13)

T
q
J JK B = (14)

=
3
2
1
0 0
0 0
0 0
k
k
k
K
q
(15)

=
3
2
1
0 0
0 0
0 0
b
b
b
B (16)
The compliance matrix B is the inverse of the
stiffness matrix. By means of the three limbs
manipulator, it is possible to modulate a maximal
stiffness along the tangent to the trajectory of
motion.For realisation of passive compliance in the
robot joints controllable compliant mechanism is
used. In each joint except an actuator for position
control is added an additional actuator for stiffness
variation of a passive compliant element. Thus,
joint position and stiffness are controlled
independently. Such a model can be seen in [8]-
(Ogata T., T.Komiya and Sh.Sugano, 2005).
The introduction of compliance increases the level
of safety in the contact realisation, but increases the
possibilities for oscillation in the contact as well.
Damping is modulated by means of using two basic
approaches-active and passive in order to overtake
this problem. The active approach uses sensors and
a position and a force feed back, by means of which
an additional damping force of the drives is
maintained proportional to velocity and directed
against it [4](Kang S.,2001).
.
q B F
q q
= (17)
T
q ] , , [
.
3
.
2
.
1
.
u u u = (18)

T
q q q q
F F F F ] , [
3 , 2 1
= (19)
The passive approach is realised by additional
damping mechanisms [8]. The damping effect is
created by control of the electric current in the
electro-magnetic brakes proportional to the joint
angular velocity.

Thus, equation (1) presented by means of matrixes
of stiffness, damping and inertia in joint co-
ordinates is shown below:

t V J M J V V J B J X X J K J F
q
T
q
T
q
T
cont
c c + =

/ ] [ ] [
1
0
1
0
1
(20)

] [ X and ] [V is evaluated from the platform
position and velocity | | | | X T X
b
= and
b
X

.
The
initial impact of end effector with the surrounding is
depends up on the velocity of the platform. The
position and velocity transfer from platform to end
effector can be evaluated as:

| | | | X T X
b
= ; ] [
.
V J X
b
=

(21)

Where
| |

=
1
b
b
b
b
z
y
x
X and

.
.
.
.
b
b
b
b
z
y
x
X (22)

And T 4x4 is the transformation matrix relates end
effector and platform coordinates.

)] cos( cos [ cos
sin
) sin( cos
) cos( cos
3 2 3 2 2 1 14
1 13
3 2 1 12
3 2 1 11
u u u u
u
u u u
u u u
+ + =
=
+ =
+ =
l l T
T
T
T

)] cos( cos [ sin
cos
) sin( sin
) cos( sin
3 2 3 2 2 1 24
1 23
3 2 1 22
3 2 1 211
u u u u
u
u u u
u u u
+ + =
=
+ =
+ =
l l T
T
T
T

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T
) sin( sin
0
) cos(
) sin(
3 2 3 2 2 1 34
33
3 2 32
3 2 31
u u u
u u
u u
+ + + =
=
+ =
+ =
l l l T
T
T
T

1
0
0
0
44
43
42
41
=
=
=
=
T
T
T
T


III. SIMULATION STUDIES

The dynamic force due to the robot- environment
interaction is evaluated while changing mechanical
characteristics inertia, damping and stiffness.
Simulations are made using Mat Lab Simulink
software.
The mobile base is treated like a cylindre with
height H= 0.6m and diameter D= 0.3m. The joints
of the manipulator are taken like cylindres with
length l
1
=0.4,and l
2
=0.4, l
3
=0.2 [m] and diameters
d=0.08m.
Studies are examinated with solid (m
1
=5.429 kg,
m
2
=5.429 kg, m
3
=1.853kg) and hollow
(m
1
=0.677kg, m
2
=0.677kg, m
3
=0.387kg) bodies.
An evaluation of dynamic interaction between
mobile robot manipulator and the surrounding is
made, evaluating contact force, when the endefector
realizises collision with the fixed solid barrier,
shown in figure1. The dynamic shock force between
the endefector and the barrier is simulated at a
horizontal motion of the mobile robot with speed
V=0.2m/s.

(i) The simulations with solid bodies

In this section, the contact forces are evaluated by
considering the links of manipulator as a solid
bodies , the stiffness of joints as k
1
=k
2
=k
3
= 500
Nm/rad , and damping of joints as b
1
=b
2
=b
1
=1
Nms/rad. Figure 2(a) and (b) shows respectively the
variation of the contact force on collision between
the end effector and the barrier when
T
q ] 0 , 90 , 0 [
0
3
0
2
0
1
= = = = u u u and
T
q ] 90 , 90 , 90 [
0
3
0
2
0
1
= = = = u u u .
When the arm configuration is changed, the
effective inertia, stiffness and resulting force are
changed too. When using configuration Fig. 2 (a)
the impulse force is reaching up up to 160 N which
is shown in Fig.2(b)., and in configuration Fig.3 (a)
case , it reaches up to 110 N(see the Fig.3(b)). The
average contact force for the manipulator
configuration shown in Fig. 2 (a) is about 116 N,
and that of configuration shown in Fig.3 (a) is about
68N.
If the manipulator is more compliant , the contact
stiffness force decreased to k
1
=k
2
=k
3
=100 Nm/rad.
With same conditions of figures 2(a) and 3(a), the
variation of contact forces are simulated as shown
in figures 4 (a) and (b). In the case low arm
stiffness, the contact forces are decreased to 25N
and 14N.
It is understood that the insertion of compliance
doesn't decrease the impulse force but contact force
reduce partially.




Fig. 2(a): Manipulator Configuration-1











Fig. 2(b):Simulation of contact force with high arm
stiffness for the configuration Shown Fig.2(a)

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Fig. 3(a): Manipulator Configuration-2











Fig.3(b):Simulation of contact force with high arm stiffness
for the configuration Shown Fig.3(a)









Fig.4(a) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
for the configuration Shown Fig.2(a)










Fig. 4(b) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
for the configuration Shown Fig.3(a)



(ii) The simulations with hollow bodies:

A reduction of the inertia can be achieved by
creation of mobile robot manipulator with light
arm. In this section, the contact forces are evaluated
by considering the links of manipulator as a
hollow bodies , the stiffness of joints as k
1
=k
2
=k
3
=
100 Nm/rad , and damping of joints as b
1
=b
2
=b
1
=1
Nms/rad. The figure 5(a) and 5(b) shows
respectively the variation of the contact force with
hallow bodies with
T
q ] 0 , 90 , 0 [
0
3
0
2
0
1
= = = = u u u
and
T
q ] 90 , 90 , 90 [
0
3
0
2
0
1
= = = = u u u .It conclude
that when the arms is with low inertia the impuls
force decreases to 40 N. The low inertia allows
faster attenuation of impact oscillations.
The simulations are made with joints damping
b1=b2=b3=1 and 0 [Nms/rad]. Figures 6(a) and 6(b)
show the change of contact force: (a) with damping
b1=b2=b3=1 Nms/rad and (b) without damping
b1=b2=b3=0 Nms/rad. It is observed from these
figures that the low stiffness creates contact
oscillations, therefore it's necessary a joint damping.
The simulation studies gives an understanding that
the mechanical characteristics are the key factor for
decreasing dynamic contact forces and thus
increasing the whole safety during the interaction
mobile robot-surrounding. It can also understand
that during a collision between robot arm and the
surrounding, the impulse force is greatly influenced
by the speed of motion of base and the effective arm
inertia. By a kinematics redundancy and choosing
an appropriate configuration the effective inertia
can be reduced till lower level. During an
unexpected collision. it is impossible to guarantee
the necessary arm configuration. Therefore the low
arm inertia is recommended for impact conditions.
The simulation studies on interaction between
mobile manipulator robot and surrounding suggests
that the system has to be with light bodies links and
motors. In case of need of more powerful and
heavier motors, they can be placed on the base
using cables and other light transmissions as base
parameters not much influences the dynamic
contact force. The stiffness and damping of the
manipulation system must be increased to certain
levels in order to decrease the level of contact force.



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Fig.5(a) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
for the configuration Shown Fig.2(a)













Fig. 5(b) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
for the configuration Shown Fig.3(a)













Fig. 6(a) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
and Zero arm damping for the configuration Shown Fig.2(a)











Fig. 6(b) :Simulation of contact force with low arm stiffness
and zero damping for the configuration Shown Fig.3(a)

IV. CONCLUSIONS

A simple model of Mobile manipulating system is
proposed to study the dynamic mutual interaction
between the mobile robot Manipulation system and
the surrounding Environment. The mathematical
relations developed using two basic approaches
known as active and passive impedance
modulations. The model proposes redundancy so
that the additional inertia come into system and
reduces the dynamic contact forces thus creates a
natural security in the interaction of robot and
environment. It is possible to use devices with
controlled passive joint compliance for achieving
requirements of performance. The introduction of
compliance decreases the level of impulse force but
during an impact or immediately change of speed,
the compliant arm is tended to oscillations. The
presence of damping in joints decreases these
oscillations.

V. ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author thanks Dr. P. Narasimha Reddy,
Executive Director of Sreenidhi Institute of Science
and Technology (An Autonomous Institution)
Hyderabad, A.P.India-501301 for his
encouragement and suggestions in carrying out this
research work.
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[8].Ogata T., T.Komiya and Sh.Sugano (2005),
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communication in real world, Journal of Intelligent
robots and systems, Vol.34, pp.1438-1443.
















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