Structural Design and Experiments of a Dynamically Balanced Inverted Four-Bar Linkage as Manipulator Arm for High Acceleration Applications

M.J.J. Zomerdijk, V. van der Wijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Industrial robotic manipulators in pick-and-place applications require short settling times to achieve high productivity. The fluctuating reaction forces and moments on the base of a dynamically unbalanced manipulator, however, cause base vibrations, leading to increased settling times. These base vibrations can be eliminated with dynamic balancing, which is achieved, in general, with the addition of counter-masses and counter-inertias. Adding these elements, however, comes at the cost of increased moving mass and inertia, resulting in lower natural frequencies and again higher settling times. For a minimal settling time it is therefore essential that a balanced mechanism has high natural frequencies with an optimal mass distribution. A dynamically balanced inverted four-bar linkage architecture is therefore favoured over architectures which depend on counter-masses and counter-rotating flywheels. The goal of this paper is to present and experimentally verify a structural design of a manipulator arm with high natural frequencies that is based on a dynamically balanced inverted four-bar linkage. The dynamical properties and the robustness to manufacturing tolerances are both verified with simulations and experiments. Experiments for 5.2 G tip accelerations show, when fully balanced, a reduction of 99.3% in reaction forces and 97.8% in reaction moments as compared to the unbalanced mechanism. The manipulator reached 21 G tip accelerations and a first natural frequency of 212 Hz was measured, which is significantly high and more than adequate for implementation in high acceleration applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • shaking force and shaking moment balancing
  • low settling time
  • natural frequencies
  • inverted four-bar mechanism
  • robotic manipulators


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