Inverse kinematics and design of a novel 6-DoF handheld robot arm

Austin Gregg-Smith, Walterio W Mayol-Cuevas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

3 Citations (Scopus)
635 Downloads (Pure)


We present a novel 6-DoF cable driven manipulator for handheld robotic tasks. Based on a coupled tendon approach, the arm is optimized to maximize movement speed and configuration space while reducing the total mass of the arm.We propose a space carving approach to design optimal link geometry maximizing structural strength and joint limits while minimizing link mass. The design improves on similar non-handheld tendon-driven manipulators and reduces the required number of actuators to one per DoF. As the manipulator has one redundant joint, we present a 5-DoF inverse kinematics solution for the end effector pose. The inverse kinematics is solved by splitting the 6-DoF problem into two coupled 3-DoF problems and merging their results. A method for gracefully degrading the output of the inverse kinematics is described for cases where the desired end effector pose is outside the configuration space. This is useful for settings where the user is in the control loop and can help the robot to get closer to the desired location. The design of the handheld robot is offered as open source. While our results and tools are aimed at handheld robotics, the design and approach is useful to non-handheld applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA16)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a meeting held in Stockholm, Sweden, 16-21 May 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467380263
ISBN (Print)9781467380270
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 16 May 201621 May 2016


Conference2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)


  • Handheld Robotics
  • Cooperative Robotics
  • Inverse Kinematics

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