MS, Colorado State University, December 2006
Major Professor: Anthony A. Maciejewski
This work considers kinematic failure tolerance when obstacles are present in the environment. It addresses the issue of finding a collision-free path such that a redundant robot can successfully move from a start to a goal position and/or orientation in the workspace despite any single locked-joint failure at any time. An algorithm is presented that searches for a simply-connected, obstacle-free surface with no internal local minimum or maximum in the configuration space that guarantees the existence of a solution. The method discussed is based on the following assumptions: a robot is redundant relative to its task, only a single locked-joint failure occurs at any given time, the robot is capable of detecting a joint failure and immediately locks the failed joint, and the environment is static and known. The technique is illustrated on a seven degree-of-freedom commercially available redundant robot. Although developed and illustrated for a single degree of redundancy, it is possible to extend the algorithm to higher degrees of redundancy.