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Common coordinate

transformations in Robots
Frame assignments using Denavit
Hartenberg (DH) conventions
Denavit Hartenberg Notation
Transformations as used in Robot Kinematics
Commonly referred to in Literature of
Fu, Gonzalez and Lee
Spong and Vidyasagar etc.
Transformation of motion between two
successive frames in a chain say i-1,i,i+1
The transformation captures the rotations as a
Homogenous Transformation matrix
Relative Pose between 2 links

i-1
Relative Pose between 2 links
Frames can be chosen arbitrarily
Denavit-Hartenberg convention is used to assign frames
described in 3.2.2 of Spong, Hutchinson, Vidyasagar Text
Iterative process (start at base, assign frames for each link
from base to end-effector)
DH Frame assignment
Frame {i} moves with link i when joint i is actuated
Zi axis is along joint axis i+1
Zi is axis of actuation for joint i+1
Zi

Link i-1
Link i+1
Link i

Zi-1
DH convention: Assign Z axes
Use actuation as a guide
Prismatic joint slides along zi
Revolute joint rotates around zi
Establish base frame {0}:
Nearly arbitrary

Start at base and assign frames 1,,N


Pick x-axis and origin
y-axis chosen to form a right hand system
Robot Base
Often base is given or some fixed point on the work-table is
used.
z0 is along joint axis 1
Original:
any point on z0 for origin
Modified DH:
{0} is defined to be completely co-incident with the reference system {1},
when the variable joint parameter, d1 or q1 , is zero.
DH convention: Assign X axes
Start at base and assign frames 1,,N
Pick x-axis and origin
y-axis chosen to form a right hand system
Consider 3 cases for zi-1 and zi:
Not-coplanar
Parallel
Intersect
DH convention: x axis
zi-1 and zi are not-coplanar
Common normal to axes is the link axis

Intersection with zi is origin

Usually, xi points
from frame i-1 to
i

zi-1 Xi
zi
DH convention: x axis

zi and zi-1 are parallel


Infinitely many common normals
Pick one to be the link axis
Choose normal that passes through origin of frame {i-1}
pointing toward zi
Origin is intersection of xi with zi
Xi

zi-1 zi
DH convention: x axisz
If joint axes zi-1 and zi intersect, xi i
is normal to the plane containing
the axes

xi = (zi-1 zi )

link i
zi-1
Xi
DH convention: Origin non-coplanar Z
Origin of frame {i} is placed at intersection of joint axis and link
axis

zi

xi
DH convention: y axis
Yi is chosen to make a right hand frame

Zi
xi points from Yi
frame i-1 to i

xi
DH convention: Origin parallel Z
zi and zi-1 are parallel
Origin is intersection of xi with zi

zi-1 zi

xi
DH convention: x axis - parallel Z
zi and zi-1 are parallel
Origin is intersection of xi with zi
Yi is chosen to make a right hand frame

yi
zi-1 zi

xi
DH convention: origin
If joint axes intersect, the origin of
frame {i} is usually placed at
intersection of the joint axes

zi

zi-1
link i

xi
DH convention: y axis

Yi is chosen to make a
right hand frame

zi

zi-1 yi
link i

xi
Link Parameters ai+1
Zi
Zi
Zi-1
Zi+1

Link i

ai

ai+1
ai
Joint Parameters
qi

di+1
qi+1
di

qi
Original DH
-1

Frame is placed at distal


end of link

zi-1 screw motion xi screw motion


DH Frames and Parameters
Robot Revolute Joint DH
Prismatic Joint DH
Link Transformations
Described by 4 parameters:
ai : twist
ai : link length
di : joint offset
qi : joint angle
Joint variable is di or qi
Build Table with values for each link:
Link Var q d a a
1 q1 q1 0 90o L1
2 d2 0 d2 0 0

Link Transformations
Described by 4 parameters:
ai : twist
ai : link length
di : joint offset
qi : joint angle
Joint variable is di or qi
Link Transformation is

zi-1 screw motion xiscrew motion


A-matrices
Ai = contains only one variable
or

Equation 3.10 in Spong,


Hutchinson, Vidyasagar
Original DH
-1

Frame is placed at distal


end of link

zi-1 screw motion xi screw motion


Modified DH
Zi+1

Zi
Zi+2

zi yi

Frame is placed at
xi proximal end of link

xi-1 screw motion zi screw motion


Modified DH text figure