Distributed Motion Controller for Complex Robotic Manipulators

The Airborne LiDAR Stabilization that we’ve designed is a Stewart Platform-based robot optimized to get the highest possible compensation range in the limited space of a small aircraft cabin. The crucial aspect of parallel robot control is a synchronous operation of all actuators. Any skew or failure can change the motion trajectory. As the robot workspace is very constrained, even a small inaccuracy can result in a collision of the delicate optical instruments with an aircraft’s parts causing serious damage.

To address the potential risks we’ve designed a custom Distributed Motion Controller. The system has a single main controller and multiple actuator controllers. The main controller uses IMU to determine the current autogyro orientation, processes the robot kinematics and calculates the trajectory for all actuators. It also manages actuators’ drivers and supervises their synchronous operation.

The devices communicate using CAN and have built-in custom fail-safe mechanisms. When any of the system’s components fail the others freeze instantly. It prevents motion along unexpected trajectories and damage of expensive optical instruments.

We chose Rainlabs because they were able to provide a solution to overcome the complexity of factors impacting our unique product. They were able to address the numerous challenges encountered in all design process stages and provide solutions that meet our needs.

Marcin Prochaska

R&D Director, Adram Mapping Systems

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