Special Issue on Parallel Structures in Manufacturing and Robotics
Pham Anh Tuan
The first parallel robot – a hexapod – although invented and built in 1947 by Dunlop Tyres’ Dr. Eric Gough, is still commonly known as the Steward Platform after Dr. D. Steward, who published the first research paper on the parallel structure. This opened a new era in parallel structures, which find applications in numerous industries thanks to their many advantages over their serial counterparts, including high-speed, high-accuracy operations, high rigidity, and use in limited workspace. The most noticeable of these are flight and vehicle simulators and high-speed, high-precision machining applications.
After decades of use limited due to the structure’s close-loop nature, however, challenges remain, including optimizing layouts, finding optimal workspace, determining structural manipulability, ascertaining structural validation, and developing robust control. This special issue of Automation Technology addresses these vital issues.
The seven articles present here deal with research on parallel structures including proposals of mechanisms for extending workspace for existing structures and their new applications, proposals, and kinematic analyses of new structures with enlarged workspace and calibration proposals for parallel machine tool mechanisms. The control of redundant mechanisms, which provide ways to increase mechanism workspace and flexibility, is also explored.
These articles are sure to provide researchers in parallel structures with stateof- the-art information useful in their own work. They are also certain to prove both interesting and informative to general readers and specialists in other fields.
I would like to express my deep appreciation to the authors, reviewers, and editors for their invaluable contributions for this issue.