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Static Force Balancing of a 2R1T Parallel Manipulator with Remote Center of Motion
Assistive robots in surgical applications should be gravity balanced due to safety considerations. This study presents a gravity balancing solution for a 3-degree-of-freedom parallel manipulator to be used as an endoscope navigation robot for transnasal minimal invasive surgery applications. The manipulator has a rather simple structure that allows individual balancing of the three legs in their respective planes of motion. First, sole counter-mass balancing is investigated, but it is seen that the extra mass amount is too much. Sole spring balancing is not considered as an option due to constructional complexity. A hybrid solution as a combination of counter-mass and spring balancing is devised. In the proposed solution, the masses on the distal links of a leg are balanced with counter-masses so that all masses are lumped to the link connected to the base of the manipulator. Hence the problem is simplified into the balancing of a pendulum. The necessary formulations are derived and numerical calculations demonstrate that the hybrid balancing yields a feasible solution. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.