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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (3) : 351-364
A novel six-legged walking machine tool for in-situ operations
Jimu LIU, Yuan TIAN, Feng GAO()
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibration, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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The manufacture and maintenance of large parts in ships, trains, aircrafts, and so on create an increasing demand for mobile machine tools to perform in-situ operations. However, few mobile robots can accommodate the complex environment of industrial plants while performing machining tasks. This study proposes a novel six-legged walking machine tool consisting of a legged mobile robot and a portable parallel kinematic machine tool. The kinematic model of the entire system is presented, and the workspace of different components, including a leg, the body, and the head, is analyzed. A hierarchical motion planning scheme is proposed to take advantage of the large workspace of the legged mobile platform and the high precision of the parallel machine tool. The repeatability of the head motion, body motion, and walking distance is evaluated through experiments, which is 0.11, 1.0, and 3.4 mm, respectively. Finally, an application scenario is shown in which the walking machine tool steps successfully over a 250 mm-high obstacle and drills a hole in an aluminum plate. The experiments prove the rationality of the hierarchical motion planning scheme and demonstrate the extensive potential of the walking machine tool for in-situ operations on large parts.

Keywords legged robot      parallel mechanism      mobile machine tool      in-situ machining     
Corresponding Author(s): Feng GAO   
Just Accepted Date: 10 July 2020   Online First Date: 31 July 2020    Issue Date: 03 September 2020
 Cite this article:   
Jimu LIU,Yuan TIAN,Feng GAO. A novel six-legged walking machine tool for in-situ operations[J]. Front. Mech. Eng., 2020, 15(3): 351-364.
Fig.1  Physical prototype of the six-legged walking machine tool.
Fig.2  Dimensions of the front and side views of the walking machine tool.
Fig.3  Control architecture of the walking machine tool.
Fig.4  Three motion layers of the walking machine tool.
Fig.5  Schematic diagram of the parallel leg mechanism.
Fig.6  Definition of coordinate systems in the legged mobile platform.
Fig.7  Schematic diagram of the PKM head.
Fig.8  Workspace of different components of the walking machine tool. (a) Leg; (b) body; (c) head.
Fig.9  Workflow of the walking machine tool for performing mobile machining tasks.
Fig.10  Feet trajectories in two walking cycles. (a) Horizontal and (b) vertical displacements of feet and body; (c) feet trajectories with respect to the body frame.
Fig.11  Snapshots of the walking simulation.
Fig.12  Snapshots of the body twisting simulation.
Fig.13  Snapshots of the PKM head twisting simulation.
Fig.14  Experiment setup of the repeatability test. (a) Overall setup; (b) SMR holders on the moving platform; (c) commanded poses.
Fig.15  Repeatability test results of different motion layers. (a) Walking; (b) body motion; (c) head motion.
Fig.16  Multi tasks in an application scenario. (a) Stepping over an obstacle; (b) adjusting body pose; (c) drilling a hole on the workpiece.
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