Design of a Docking System for Cable-Driven Parallel Robot to Allow Workspace Reconfiguration in Cluttered Environments


Package couriers are exposed to a strenuous work environment, where up~to one third of their time is spent loading and unloading vehicles manually. There is a clear need for robotic systems to augment the capacity of their vehicles while reducing costs and labor. The lightweight components and scalable workspaces of cable-driven Parallel Robots (CDPRs) make them a strong option for this application, however cable interference means deployment in cluttered environments is currently infeasible. In this paper, we propose a suspended CDPR consisting of a two stage end effector with a unique docking system. The design permits the end effector to latch itself into continuous docking struts fixed throughout the workspace, re-routing the cables and deploying a sub-CDPR which can operate freely between obstacles. The design of the mechanism and the robot are presented as well as its functional modes. Workspace analysis is conducted for both the docked and undocked configurations demonstrating the feasibility and utility of such a design.

Cable-Driven Parallel Robots
Philip Long
Former Postdoc