Configuration Design of Rigid Link Mechanisms by an Optimization Method: A First Step
ABSTRACT This work is concerned with the automatic configuration design or synthesis of mechanisms consisting of rigid links and joints.
The specific design goal is to configure a rigid-link mechanism that converts a given input motion at a certain location to
a desired output motion at an end-effector location without any initial information on mechanism configuration. To the authors’
knowledge, the automatic synthesis or design envisioned in this investigation has not been reported. In this respect, this
investigation may open a door to rigid-body mechanism synthesis. For the synthesis, two-dimensional mechanisms consisting
of rigid links and revolute joints will be considered. The synthesis is formulated as a problem to minimize the difference
between the prescribed output motion and the actual output motion. The key to the success of the mechanism synthesis lies
in the development of a single unified model that can represent all possible rigid-body mechanisms. Our idea is to represent
rigid linkmechanisms by spring-connected rigid blocks; by adjusting the real-valued spring stiffness, any rigid link mechanism can be simulated and a desired mechanism can be
synthesized by varying the spring stiffness. In this investigation, only the kinematics of a mechanism will be considered.
Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.