Task-based Design of Cable-driven Articulated Mechanisms

Jian Li
McGill University
Sheldon Andrews
McGill University
Krisztian Birkas
McGill University
Paul G. Kry
McGill University

We present a framework for the automatic design of articulated cable-driven mechanisms performing push and pick-and-place tasks. Provided an initial topology and task specification, our system optimizes the morphology and cable mechanisms such that the resulting mechanism can perform the desired task successfully. Optimizing for multiple tasks and multiple cables simultaneously is possible with our framework. At the core of our approach is an optimization algorithm that analyzes the kinematics of the design to evaluate the mechanism's ability to perform the task. Dynamical attributes, such as the ability to produce forces at the end effector, are also considered. Furthermore, this paper presents a novel approach for fast inverse kinematics using cable-driven mechanisms, which is used in the morphology optimization process. Several examples of mechanisms designed using our framework are presented. We also present results of physics based simulation, and evaluate 3D printed versions of an example mechanism.

Paper [PDF, 1.9 MB]


		@proceedings {cablemech17,
		author = {Li, Jian and Andrews, Sheldon and Birkas, Krisztian and Kry, Paul G.},
		title = {{Task-based Design of Cable-driven Articulated Mechanisms}},
		booktitle = {Proceedings of the Symposium on Computational Fabrication},
		year = {2017},