Kinematic Determination of an Unmodeled Serial Manipulator by Means of an IMU

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Kinematic determination for an unmodeled manipulator is usually done through a-priori knowledge of the manipulator physical characteristics or external sensor information. The mathematics of the kinematic estimation, often based on Denavit-

Hartenberg convention, are complex and have high computation requirements, in addition to being unique to the manipulator for which the method is developed.

Analytical methods that can compute kinematics on-the fly have the potential to be highly beneficial in dynamic environments where different configurations and variable manipulator types are often required. This thesis derives a new screw theory based method of kinematic determination, using a single inertial measurement unit (IMU), for use with any serial, revolute manipulator. The method allows the expansion of reconfigurable manipulator design and simplifies the kinematic process for existing manipulators. A simulation is presented where the theory of the method is verified and characterized with error. The method is then implemented on an existing manipulator as a verification of functionality.