UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Kinematic and dynamic calibration of hydraulically actuated manipulators Khoshzaban-Zavarehi, Masoud


Important industries such as construction, mining, and forestry make use of heavy-duty hydraulic machinery with manipulators usually controlled manually by expert human operators. The hand controls that operate most articulated machines today do not take advantage of recent developments in robotics and control technology. There are thousands of industrial hydraulic machines in existence that can potentially benefit from improved computer-assisted controls such as the ones which are under development at UBC. To control such manipulators properly, however, precise link parameters should be known in advance in order to obtain inverse kinematics, Jacobians, and inverse dynamics used in various control algorithms. Accurate measurement of link parameters is made possible by using calibration techniques. The theme of this thesis involves calibration (measurement) of kinematic and dynamic parameters of hydraulic manipulators. In the category of kinematic calibration, we have presented and experimented with a new algorithm and instrumentation for automatic measurement of the geometric parameters of such robotic manipulators when forming mobile closed-chains. The contribution of the work proposed here, in the face of a large literature in kinematic calibration, is that there is no need for joint and end effector sensing of the manipulator. Instead, an external linkage-type sensing instrument, called "calibrator" has been introduced. One end of the calibrator is attached to the manipulator endpoint, while the other end is attached to a passive task fixture which is a spherical joint fixed to the machine's chassis. A special hierarchical identification algorithm using iterative least-squares technique has been developed based on link-by-link movement of the manipulator, starting from the end effector. By using the joint angle sensory data from the calibrator, all the geometric parameters of the moving link, as well as the kinematics of the actuator and the task fixture, were identified for a Caterpillar 215B excavator. In the area of dynamic calibration of hydraulic machines, a new methodology for the dynamics of a complex hybrid open-closed chain hydraulic manipulator was derived based on the Newton-Euler formulation. It was shown by simulation that neglecting the dynamics of the minor links (hydraulic actuators) may dramatically underestimate the forces/torques applied to the joints/links. By measuring the joint positions and the oil pressures inside the hydraulic actuators and applying the proposed dynamic equations, we attempted to calibrate the dynamic parameters (inertias, friction forces/torques, and transducer offsets) of both major and minor links of a typical hydraulic manipulator, the UBC Caterpillar 215B excavator. Simulation results showed that with the current accuracy of the sensors and transducers, it was not possible to obtain a good estimate of the parameters. The poor estimates of the individual parameters of the UBC hydraulic manipulator confirmed the simulation indications. Nevertheless, the estimated torques/forces obtained from the calibrated parameters appeared to be closer than the ones calculated from the existing nominal model to the actual measured torques/forces of the actuators. Although the formulation was much more mathematically and computationally involved, the complete model predicted the actuator forces/torques better than both reduced and nominal models. There are a number of potential advantages of the calibration techniques developed in this work over the existing methods in the literature. The techniques have the potential of being industrially feasible, fast, inexpensive, automatic with minimum human involvement and engineering supervision, and ready to apply on-site.

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