Shape optimization of robotic manipulators for maximum stiffness and load carrying capacity

J. S. Lamancusa, D. A. Saravanos, H. J. Sommer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Structural optimization can result in robotic arms with significantly improved stiffness and load carrying capacity. The geometrical shape of the manipulator links can be optimized for maximum stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight ratios. The problem of stiffening and strengthening a manipulator is solved by optimal redistribution of the available material without in-creasing the total mass of the manipulator. Since manipulators are programmed to move through a range of postures, thereby creating different loading conditions on the links, a multi-posture design criteria is implemented to provide a more uniform stiffness and strength over the range of possible postures. Finite element based performance criteria are developed which facilitate the simultaneous maximization of specific stiffness and strength. Three application examples on a SCARA class arm illustrate the dramatic potential for simultaneous improvements in specific stiffness and specific strength. The significance of multiple postures on the optimal design, the merits of tapered versus straight link shapes, and the relation of maximum stiffness to maximum strength, are also examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDesign Optimization
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780791803684
StatePublished - 1989
EventASME 1989 Design Technical Conferences, DETC 1989 - Montreal, United States
Duration: Sep 17 1989Sep 21 1989

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference


ConferenceASME 1989 Design Technical Conferences, DETC 1989
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Shape optimization of robotic manipulators for maximum stiffness and load carrying capacity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this