Determining the initial configuration of uninterrupted redundant manipulator trajectories in a manufacturing environment

Zan Mi, Jingzhou Yang, Joo H. Kim, Karim Abdel-Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a manufacturing environment where a redundant manipulator is programmed to follow a specific trajectory such as welding, painting, and soldering, it is often the case that the manipulator reaches a singular configuration where the program is stopped, the manipulator has to be switched to a new configuration, and the motion continued. This paper presents a method of determining the initial configuration of robotic manipulators to traverse a path trajectory without halting the motion. The method consists of: (1) identifying singular curves/surfaces using the Jacobian rank deficiency method; (2) determining non-crossable curves/surfaces using acceleration-based crossability criteria; (3) finding if the path intersects any non-crossable singular curve/surface. If there is not any intersection, the manipulator does not interrupt with any initial configuration on the trajectory. Otherwise, the intersection is determined, and the non-crossable singular configuration at the intersection point is determined; (4) solving the differential algebraic system of equations (DAE) of index 2 using the RungeKutta method; and (5) solving the optimization problem. The method is illustrated through examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • DAE
  • Halting the motion
  • Inverse kinematics
  • Singular configuration
  • Trajectory planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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