The octahedral manipulator revisited

Conference Article


IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)





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In most practical implementations of the Gough-Stewart platform, the octahedral form is either taken as it stands or is approximated. The kinematics of this particular instance of the Gough-Stewart platform, commonly known as the octahedral manipulator, has been thoughtfully studied. It is well-known, for example, that its forward kinematics can be solved by computing the roots of an octic polynomial and its singularities have a simple geometric interpretation in terms of the intersection of four planes in a single point. In this paper, using a distance-based formulation, it is shown how these properties can be derived without relying neither on variable eliminations nor trigonometric substitutions. Moreover, thanks to this formulation, a family of platforms kinematically equivalent to the octahedral manipulator is obtained. Herein, two Gough-Stewart parallel platforms are said to be kinematically equivalent if there is a one-to-one correspondence between their squared leg lengths for the same configuration of their moving platforms with respect to their bases. If this condition is satisfied, it can be shown that both platforms have the same assembly modes and their singularities, in the configuration space of the moving platform, are located in the same place.


robot kinematics.

Author keywords

octahedral manipulator, position analysis, forward kinematics, distance-based formulations, Cayley-Menger determinants

Scientific reference

N. Rojas, J. Borràs and F. Thomas. The octahedral manipulator revisited, 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2012, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, pp. 2293-2298, IEEE.