PuzzleFlex: kinematic motion of chains with loose joints

Under review at 2020 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

ABSTRACT: This paper presents a method of computing free motions of a planar assembly of rigid bodies connected by loose joints. Joints are modeled using local distance constraints, which are then linearized with respect to configuration space velocities, yielding a linear programming formulation that allows analysis of systems with thousands of rigid bodies. Potential applications include analysis of collections of modular robots, structural stability perturbation analysis, tolerance analysis for mechanical systems,and formation control of mobile robots.