DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A FLEXIBLE DISTRIBUTED ROBOT CONTROL ARCHITECTURE
Ellsberry, Andrew John
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The communications and electronic systems that comprise a distributed control architecture for a robotic manipulator tie the high level control and motion planning to the electromechanical components. Custom solutions to this problem can be expensive in terms of time, cost, and maintenance. The integration of commercial off the shelf (COTS) motion controllers, combined with a robust communication standard, offers the potential to reduce the costs and development times for new robots. This thesis demonstrates an implementation of this architecture using commercial controllers and the CANopen communications bus on two existing dexterous robots. Testing is conducted to quantify the single joint performance of these modules. Additionally, the implementation of the system on a second robot arm was conducted in order to test the flexibility of the system for use with different actuators and feedback.