A method for introducing flexibility in rigid multibodies from reduced order elastic models
Abstract: In multibody dynamics simulation of robots and vehicles it is common to model the systems as being composed of mainly rigid bodies with articulation joints. With the trend to more lightweight robots, however, the structural flexibility of the robots link’s needs to be considered for realistic dynamic simulations. The link’s geometries are complex and finite element models (FEM) are required to compute the deformations. However, FEM includes too many degrees of freedom for time-efficient dynamics simulation. A popular method is to generate reduced order models from the FE models, but with much fewer degrees of freedom, for fast and precise simulations. In this thesis a method for introducing reduced order models in rigid multibody systems was developed. The method is to divide a rigid body into two rigid bodies. Their relative movement is described by a six degree of freedom restoration force, determined with a reduced order model from Guyan reduction (static condensation). The method was validated for quasistatic deformation of a homogenous beam, a robot link arm with a more complex geometry and in multibody dynamics simulations. Finally the method was tested in simulation of a complete ABB robot with joint actuators, and any significant differences in the motion of the robot tool centre point due to replacing a rigid link arm by a flexible one was demonstrated.The method show good results for computing deformations of the homogenous beam, of the link arm and in the multibody simulation. The differences observed in simulation of a complete robot was expected and demonstrated the method to be applicable in robotic simulations.
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