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Linear accelerometers and rate gyros for rotary joint angle estimation of heavy-duty mobile manipulators using forward kinematic modeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1774
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE - ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A gravity-referenced joint angle estimation approach is proposed for multiple-degree-of-freedom hydraulic manipulators. The approach is built solely upon easy-to-install linear accelerometers and angular rate gyroscopes to avoid physical contact to rotary joint mechanisms and the use of in-axis sensors. As a significant novelty, a comprehensive kinematics model for linear accelerations acting on the accelerometers during motion is associated with the well-known principles of complementary sensor fusion for the first time, which provides a practical solution for using the force of gravity as an angular reference while in fast motion. In experiments with a serial-link manipulator of a multiton off-road forestry vehicle, gyro-aided sensor fusion employing the kinematics model achieved a joint angle sensing error of less than ±1°, which translated to a centimeter end-effector positioning accuracy. This can be considered a significant result in view of the vibrations oscillating through the manipulator structure, coupled linear accelerations of linkage motion, and nonstatic interaction between the vehicle base and the terrain.


  • Kinematics, Manipulators, Microelectromechanical devices

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