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R. B. McGhee et al. “Real-time computer control of a hexapod second one is based on a Euler rotation representation. The quaternion
vehicle,” in Proc 3rd CISM-IFToMM Symp. on Theory and vector approach leads to a linear feedback control law for which the
Practice of Robots and Manipulators. Amsterdam, The Nether- global asymptotic convergence of the orientation error is readily estab-
lands: Elsevier, pp. 323-339, 1978. lished. The Euler rotation approach also results in asymptotic error
R. B. McGhee and G. I. Iswandhi, “Adaptive locomotion of a convergence in the large except for a singularity where the hand
multilegged robot over rough terrain,” IEEE Trans. Sysr. Man
orientation differs from its desired orientation by a rotation of 180”.
Cybern., vol. SMC-9, no. 4, pp. 176-182, 1979.
M. H. Raibert and I. E. Sutherland, “Machines that walk,” Scientific I. INTRODUCTION
Amer., vol. 248, no. I , pp. 44-53. 1983.
M. H. Raibert and F. C. Wimberly, “Tabular control of balance in a Manipulators with six o r more degrees of freedom are generally
dynamic legged system,” IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern., vol. required to follow preplanned paths of hand position and orientation
SMC-14, no. 3, 1984. defined as a function of time in Cartesian (or task space) coordinates.
M. H. Raibert et al., “Dynamically stable legged locomotion,” For closed-loop control of resolved motion, the instantaneous motion
Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Robotics Inst., Third Annual Report, Tech. of the hand, o r end-effector, must be monitored continuously either
Rep. CMU-RI-TR-83, 1983. by using direct endpoint sensing techniques (e.g., [ I ] ) o r via a
M. H. Raibert et al., “Experiments in balance with a 3D one-legged
kinematic model of the manipulator which computes the hand
hopping machine,” Int. J. Robotics Res., vol. 3, no. 2 , pp. 75-92,
1984. position and orientation from the joint variables. This information is,
D. M. Wilson, “Insect walking,” Annu. Rev. Entymol., vol. 11, pp. in turn, used to produce corrective control action from the joint
103-121, 1966. actuators in the manipulator (Fig. I ) .
S . Hirose, “A study of design and control of a quadruped walking The hand position and orientation of a manipulator are typically
vehicle,” Int. J. Robotics Res., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 113-133, 1984. represented by the position vector and rotation matrix, respectively,
H. Hemani and R. L. Farnsworth, “Postural and gait stability of a between reference coordinate frames fixed to the base and the last
planar five link biped by simulation,” IEEE Trans. Automat. Contr., link of the manipulator [2]. The rotation matrix has the general form
vol. AC-22, pp. 452-458, 1977.
D.E. Orin, “Interactive control of six-legged vehicle with optimization &fj= In s a] (1)
of both stability and energy,” Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State
Univ., Columbus, 1976. where n , s, and a are the normal, slide, and approach (unit) vectors
-, “Supervisory control of a multilegged robot,’’ Int. J. Robotic
of the hand frame expressed in base frame coordinates.
Res., vol. 1, no. I , pp. 79-91, 1982.
S. S . Sun, “A theoretical study of gaits for legged locomotion It is clear that the position vector p and its derivatives ( j and p
systems,” Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, 1974. for velocity and acceleration, respectively) completely describe the
A. P. Bessonov and N. V. Umnov, “The analysis of gaits in six-legged translational motion of the hand. The position tracking error may be
vehicles according to their static stability,” in Proc. Symp. on Theory defined as
and Practice of Robots and Manipulators (Udine, Italy, 1973).
F. Ozguner, S . J . Tsai, and R. B. McGhee, “An approach to the use of e, = p -Pd (2)
terrain-preview information in rough-terrain locomotion by a hexapod
walking machine,” Int. J. Robotics Res., vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 134-146, where P d denote the desired hand position vector. The velocity and
1984. acceleration errors can be defined accordingly as e, = ( j - j d )and
E. I . Kugusheve and V. S . Jaroshevskij, “Problems of selecting a gait e,= ( p - j d ) , respectively.
for an integrated locomotion robot,” paper presented at the 4th Int. If o and G denote the angular velocity and acceleration of the hand,
Conf. on Artificial Intelligence, Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, USSR, 1975.
K. Ikeda et al., “Finite state control of quadruped walking vehicle- then the corresponding error terms may be defined as eo = ( w - o[j)
Control by hydraulic digital actuator” (in Japanese), Biomechanisrn, and e o = (G - Gd), where wd and denote the desired angular
vol. 2, pp. 164172, 1973. velocity and angular acceleration, respectively, of the hand. The
T. T. Lee and C. L. Shy, “A study of the gait control of quadruped question that arises now is: What is an appropriate counterpart for p
walking vehicle,” IEEE J. Robotics Automat., vol. RA-2, no. 2 , pp. which represents i o dt in the following definition of orientation
61-69, 1986. tracking error?
S . M. Song, “Kinematic optimal design of a six-legged walking
machine,” Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus,
T. T. Lee and C. M. Liao, “On the hexapod crab walking tripod This question takes on particular significance in the context of closed-
gaits,” in Proc. 15th Int. Symp. on Industrial Robots (Tokyo, loop manipulator control since the position and orientation errors of
Japan, 1985), vol. 1, pp. 263-270. the hand are used explicitly in the feedback loop.
When the manipulator is controlled in its joint coordinates 13, ch.
71, there is no need to generate the hand orientation error as in (3)
-..... the
.~~~desired traiectorv. reDresented by the hand position and
~ ~~ . , d .

Closed-Loop Manipulator Control Using Quaternion rotation matrix, may be converted directiy into a corresponding
Feedback trajectory in the joint coordinates. The inverse kinematic models used
for such a conversion, however, are typically very complex and exist
JOSEPH S.-C. YUAN as closed-form solutions only for manipulators with special configu-
rations, such as parallel adjacent joints o r spherical wrists [3, ch. 31.
Abstract-Euler parameters, a form of normalized quaternions, are
For orientation error feedback, the rotation matrix representation
used here to model the hand orientation errors in resolved rate and
of (1) is clearly impractical simply because there are too many
resolved acceleration control of manipulators. The quaternion formula-
elements in the matrix. More importantly, not all of its elements
tion greatly simplifies the stability analysis of the orientation error
(which are direction cosines) are independent due to the requirement
dynamics. Two types of quaternion feedback have been considered. The
of orthogonality among the unit vectors n, s, and a.
first type uses only the vector portion of the quaternion error, while the
Despite their nonuniqueness, Euler angles are frequently used to
represent orientation [4, ch. 2.1. I ] mainly because of their physical
Manuscript received February 26, 1987; revised October 28, 1987. manifestations, such as roll, pitch, and yaw angles. But they are
The author is with Spar Aerospace Ltd., Weston, Ont,, M ~ 2L ~ 7 , undesirable in feedback control due to singularities and computational
IEEE Log Number 8820162. complexity [3, ch. 3.21. Furthermore, because the differential

0882-4967/88/08OO-0434$01.OO 0 1988 IEEE





equations relating the rates of change of these angles to w are highly A . Definition
nonlinear ( 4 , p. 301, it is extremely difficult to analyze the stability of Let two coordinate systems (FOand 5 , )be separated by a rotation
the closed-loop system without using some form of small-angle linear of cp about a unit vector r as defined in Euler’s Theorem. Then the
approximation. quaternion description of the orientation difference between the two
Alternatively, the difference in orientation between two coordinate systems is given by a scalar 7 and a vector q defined as follows:
systems may be expressed as a single rotation through some angle
about a fixed axis as stated in Euler’s Theorem [ 4 , p. 131. Such a 7 = c o s (cp/2) q =sin (cp/2)r. (5)
rotation (known as Euler rotation) represents the minimal angular
distance between the two systems. This formulation has a natural Note that if (7, q } is the quaternion representation of TI relative to
appeal from the control standpoint since the rotation vector coincides To, then (7, - q } represents the orientation of To relative to 51.
with the axis about which the control torque must be applied to the
hand. B. Normality
The Euler rotation representation has been used in both resolved It is clear from ( 5 ) that
rate [SI and resolved acceleration control 161. Furthermore, it has
been applied successfully to the control of the space shuttle 72+qTq= 1 (6)
manipulator [71. In the latter case, the instantaneous error between
the actual and the desired hand orientation is described as a rotation of where a superscript “T” denotes vector o r matrix transpose.
~ ( tabout
) a unit vector r ( t ) . The angular velocity command for the C. Uniqueness
hand is then aligned with r. The feedback gain, however, must vary
continuously with the orientation error and is highly nonlinear which Both { 7, q } and { - 7, - q } describe the same orientation. But if

renders the stability analysis of the closed-loop system an intractable the rotation angle cp is confined to the range - 180” 5 cp 5 180”,
task. then the scalar 9 is nonnegative and the quaternion representation is
It was stated in [6] that when the orientation error is small, it may unique.
be expressed in terms of the Euler rotation parameters ((0, r ) as D. Relation to Rotation Matrix
e o ( t )= sin c p ( f ) r ( t ) . (4) The direction cosine matrix describing the rotation sequence that
Unfortunately. the convergence analysis offered in [6] is based on brings 5 0 onto 5 , is given by [16, p. 4211
linear approximation over small time intervals and does not apply to
stability in the large (i.e., when there is a large initial orientation Rlo=eos (o 1+(1-cos cp)rr7- sin cp r x (7)
error). It will be shown in this communication that the Euler

.=[: I ill
rotation representation ( 4 ) in fact leads to convergence even for where 1 denotes a unit matrix and
largc orientation errors.
Yet another representation for orientation is Euler parameters
which are a form of normalized quaternions [ 4 , p. 231. (For economy
rx=[ - r2 . (8)
in notation, the generic term “quaternion” will be used in this
communication to denote Euler parameters.) Though less amenable
It can be seen, from ( 5 ) , that the rotation matrix may also be written
to physical interpretation than either Euler angles or rotation
in terms of the quaternion parameters as
matrices, quaternions are free of singularities and are computa-
tionally more efficient. Many applications of quaternions can be
found in the literature on large-angle maneuvering and attitude
control of space vehicles [ 8 ] - [ 1 3 ] .More recently, the quaternion
formulation has been applied to the dynamic analysis of a general where the matrix q” is defined in terms of the components of q in a
class of mechanisms [ 1 4 ] , [ 151 which could conceivably include similar manner to r x in (8). An efficient singularity-free algorithm
manipulators. for computing the quaternion from a rotation matrix is described in
This communication extends the quaternion concept to the resolved 1171.
The quaternion vector q has the same coordinates in either 50o r
motion control of manipulators. It will be shown that the quaternion
formulation can greatly simplify the stability analysis of the orienta-
5 , . Indeed, it is the eigenvector of RI”with unit eigenvalue; that is,
tion error dynamics.
Quaternions have many interesting properties, not all of which,
however. are relevant to the development of this communication. (A E. Quaternion Propagation
list of general identities involving quaternions can be found in [ 1 4 ] . ) Suppose the coordinate system 5 , rotates at an instantaneous
Only some of thcir fundamental features are discussed below. angular velocity of w about To. Then the quaternion { 7, q } evolves in

time according to the following differential equation [4, p. 321: Then the hand velocities are related to e by the expression [5]
[f] = J e

where w is expressed in the coordinates of and the matrix w x is where J is a 6 x n Jacobian matrix whose elements are functions of
derived from w in the same way r x is defined for r in (8). Further the joint variables
discussions on quaternion propagation can be found in [ 181.
e=[e, ... 0~17.
F. Relative Orientation
Consider two coordinate systems, '3, and S2, and let R I Oand Rzo In open-loop resolved rate control [19], the joint rate command is
denote the rotation matrices describing the orientation of each system simply given by
- -
referenced to a common base frame To. Suppose the corresponding
quaternion representations are given by { q l , q l } and (72, 4 2 } ,
respectively. Then the relative orientation between SI and F2,
Bc=Jt It]
denoted by the rotation matrix
where p d and wd are the desired linear and angular hand velocities,
RZl = RzoR ro (12) and J t denotes either the direct inverse (n = 6) o r the generalized
inverse ( n > 6) of J .
is given by (69, 64) where [9] In closed-loop control [20], however, the control law (19) is
replaced with
6~ = V I vz + :42 64 = V I 42 - 9241 - 4 p 42. (13)
Note that 6q is expressed here in the coordinates of either T I o r T2
(since they are the same), but not of To.
G. Orientation Error Representation where K, and KO are feedback gain matrices; e, and eo are the
If 5 , and 5 2 denote the desired and the actual hand orientation position and orientation errors of the hand defined in ( 2 ) and (3),
relative to the base of the manipulator, then (13) yields the quaternionrespectively.
for the orientation error. When the two frames coincides, q 1 = q2 and In most industrial robots, the command 6 , is applied directly to the
q1 = q2, wc get, through (6),
rate servos at the joints. This is known as kinematic control since the
dynamics of the manipulator is completely ignored. For dynamic
control, the rate command e,, together with the measured 0 and
6q=1 6q=O. (14)
estimated acceleration ,e, are used in a dynamic model of the
Conversely, at 6q = 0, manipulator (e.g., the Newton-Euler model of [21]), to compute the
joint torques. This approach is commonly known as the computed
V I 42 - 7241 = 4 p 42. (15) torque method.
The computed torque algorithm of [ 2 1 ] accounts for the nonlinear
But the vectors (7142 - q2q1) and q i(q2are orthogonal to each other. joint inertia, Coriolis and centrifugal forces, as well as gravity. As a
(The product q y q 2 is, in fact, a matrix-vector representation of the result, except for the effects of friction, actuator dynamics, and
cross product 41 X 42.) Therefore, (15) holds only if both vectors are parametric errors, the linear and angular velocities of the hand can be
zero: in other words. represented, to the first order, by the following equations:

42 = (92 1771141. (16)

Furthermore through the normality condition ( 6 ) , 6q = 0 implies

f31)=q1q2+q:q2=+. 1. (17) which have been obtained by applying (18) to (20). The convergence
of the position and orientation errors is thus determined by the
16) into (17) and making use of the normality of { q l , stability of the differential equations (21) and (22).
Since ep = ( p - p d ) and (21) is linear, it is easy to select the gain
K, so that the position error e, converges to zero asymptotically (i.e.,
e,(t) + 0 as t --t 03). W e shall next examine the convergence of the
both of which describe the same orientation (cf. property in orientation error in (22).
Subsection 11-C, above). Let {qdr qd} and { q , q } denote, respectively, the quaternions for
Hence, we have established the following result which states that the desired and the actual orientation of the hand. Then each
6q is indeed a logical representation for the orientation error between quaternion evolves in time according to a set of differential equations
two coordinate systems: similar to (1 1) as follows:

Proposition I : Two coordinate systems coincide if, and only if, 6q
0, where 6q is the vector component of the quaternion defined in [td] [:<, r:;] [a:]
Note that. unlike the case cited in [6] with the Euler rotation
representation (4), the above result holds regardless of the size of the
orientation error.
[,]=1/2 [e -:I[;]
The asymptotic stability of the nonlinear system comprising (22)-
RESOLVEDRATECONTROI (24) is best studied by using Lyapunov's second mcthod [22]. For this
we define the following positive-definite Lyapunov function:
Lct p and w be the linear and angular velocity, respectively, of the
hand of a manipulator with n links, and denote the joint rates by

e = [ & . ' . 8,]7 It can be shown through substitution from (22)-(24) that the time


-EULER El AN 1 ? U t A T 0 R K I I: E f l A 1 IC 8



?,? ROH
Fig. 2. Resolved rate control using quaternion feedback

derivative of V along any quaternion trajectory (11, q } is given by Substituting (30) into (26), we have

V = 6 q 7 ( w - w d ) = -6q7Koeo (26) V = - 26116qTK(,6q. (32)

Since 611 is nonnegative (cf. property in Subsection 1143, i/ 5 0
provided KO > 0. Thus there are two equilibrium points, 611 = 0 and
6q = 0, at which V = 0. Of the two, however, only one (6q = 0)
One recognizes from (13) that the latter is simply the quaternion error
results in true convergence of the orientation error; 611 = 0 occurs
vector between the desired and the actual hand orientation.
when the actual and the desired hand orientation are separated by a
We are now faced with the task of selecting a re,presentation for the
Euler rotation of 180".
orientation error feedback eo which will cause I/ in (26) to become
The above analysis clearly demonstrates the superiority of the
negative-definite. An obvious choice is
quaternion error feedback (28) over the Euler rotation error feedback
of (4) o r (30).
eo = 6q (28)
with KO > 0 so that
The acceleration of the hand can be obtained by differentiating ( I 8)
V = -6qTKo6q, (29) to yield r 1

Given an arbitrary nonzero Sq, V is negative, which causes V to (33)

approach zero since it is a positive-definite functjon. This will
continue until an equilibrium point is reached where V = 0, i.e., Sq where is the time derivative of the Jacobian matrix whose elements
= 0. By Proposition I , this also corresponds to zero orientation e.
are functions of I9 and In resolved acceleration control [ 6 ] ,the joint
error. We therefore conclude that the quaternion error feedback given acceleration command is given by
by (28) results in global asymptotic convergence of the orientation
The implementation of the quaternion error feedback (28) in
resolved rate dynamic control is illustrated in Fig. 2 . Given wd(t), the
desired quaternion trajectory { v d ( f ) q, d ( t ) } can be either precompu-
ted or generated on-line with (23). The instantaneous quaternion of where K,, K,, K,, and KOare feedback gain matrices. p d and &d are
the hand may be extracted from the rotation matrix ( I ) using the the desired linear and angular accelerations, and .It denotes the
singularity-free algorithm described in [ 171. generalized inverse of J.
Let us now study the stability of (22) with the error feedback eo Equation (34) together with measured values of I9 and may then e
expressed as a Euler rotation. When expressed in the form of (4). the be used in a computed torque algorithm [21) to generate the joint
relationship between eo and (w - o d ) is not obvious and it becomes torques. As a result, the linear and angular accelerations of the hand
very difficult to determine the stability of (22). The convergence are given by (see comments just above (21) and (22))
analysis given in [6] for the resolved acceleration case is valid only
for short time intervals and small orientation errors. Described below
is a stability analysis of (22) based on a quaternion formulation.
It follows from the definition of quaternions in ( 5 ) that the Euler
rotation error (4) can also be expressed as Since the linear acceleration error is given by eo = (j- j J , it is
easy to choose the gain matrices K , and KO in (35) to ensure that
eo=sin (p r = 2 cos ((p/2) sin ((p/2)r=2676g (30) ep(t) 0 as t
-+ W . W e shall now analyze the convergence of the

orientation error in (36) by using a quaternion formulation.

where 6 q is given by (27) and Define the following Lyapunov function:

617 = v d v + q l q . (31) V = ( 7 - q d ) 2+ ( 9 - qd)7 ( q- qr,)+ ~ 7 ( w -U,,). (37)


- + P


* N E ~ ~ O N

t e, e

r -
'd ,?d - q,7 ROH

Fig. 3. Resolved acceleration control using quaternion feedback.

It can be shown by substitutions from (36) and the quaternion feedback is given by a Euler rotation representation. A convergence
propagation equations (23) and (24) that the time derivative of V analysis for this was given in 161 with the error expressed as in ( 4 ) .
along any quaternion trajectory { q , q } is But the results are only valid for short sampling intervals and small
orientation errors. We shall show below that even large-angle
'K,(o - w d )+ (w - a d )' ( 6 q - Koeo)
V = - ( o - ad) (38) stability can be established by using a quaternion formulation.
Substituting (30) into (39). we get
where the quaternion error vector 6q is given by (27).
To make i/ negative-semidefinite, it is sufficient to set Koeo= 267KoSq = 6q. (43)

Koeo= 6q (39)
Hence, provided the feedback gain matrix is set according to
and K, > 0. In other words, let
eo=6q Ko=I (40)
where I is a unit matrix, is again given by (41). We, therefore.
where I is a unit matrix. W e then have
conclude that, despite what was claimed in [ S I , the orientation error
V= - (U - w d ) 'K,(w - w d )
converges even for large angles.
Note that, unlike the case in (40). the feedback gain KO in (44) is
so that i/(t) 5 0 for all t . In particular, whenever w differs from wd? nonlinear. This is due to the need to eliminate the second term in (38)
V will decrease in value until an equilibrium point is reached where V so as to render V negative-semidefinite. The condition is only
= 0; i.e., w = a d . sufficient, not necessary. By keeping K Oconstant as in (40), however.
At o = a d . we have from (36) and (39) stability can no longer be guaranteed.
As a result of (44). the feedback gain has a singularity at 67 = 0
( d / d l ) ( o- w d )= ~ Koeo= ~ 6q. (42) which occurs when the hand orientation diffcrs from its desired
orientation by Euler rotation of 180". This once again demonstrates
Suppose 6q = 0 at this equilibrium point. Then, by (42), w ( t ) will the superiority of the direct quaternion feedback approach (40) over
) all t . By Proposition 1, the hand stays aligned with
remain at o d ( ffor one using Euler rotations.
the desired orientation.
On the other hand, if w = adbut 6q is nonzero, then (a - ad)will V. EXPERIMENTAL
change according to (42) so that w = wd can only tiold instantane- The resolved rate control law (20) using quaternion feedback was
ously. By (41), V becomes negative which causes I/ to decrease implemented on a Cincinnati Milacron T3-776 industrial robot. The
further toward zero. Consequently, 6q(t) 0 as t + a,which, by -+
main objective of the experimcnt was to demonstrate large-angle
Proposition I , corresponds to zero orientation error. Since this result stability of the two quaternion feedback formulations considered in
holds for any initial value of 6q, we have global asymptotic this communication.
convergence of the orientation error. In the experiment the hand was commanded to follow a circular
The quaternion feedback implementation of resolved acceleration path of radius 200 mm in a vertical plane at a constant speed of 100
control is illustrated in Fig. 3. As in the case of resolved rate control, mmis, while its initial orientation was displaced from the desired
the desired quaternion trajectory { ~ d q, d } can be either precomputed orientation by a rotation of90" about the vertical (yaw) axis. Because
and recalled from memory o r generated on-line using the propagation this robot has very fast servo dynamics. only kinematic control was
equation (23). The joint variables 0 and 8 are assumed to be implemented; that is. the command calculated from (20) was applied
measurable and the hand velocities 0 and w may be calculated from directly to the inputs of the ratc servos at the joints.
(18). Given 8, 6 , and ec computed by (34) with (40) providing the Figs. 4 and 5 describe thc responses of the hand orientation with
orientation error feedback, the joint torques can then be calculated the feedback gain matrices set as follows:
from a Newton-Euler dynamic model of the manipulator as in 1211.
Let us now examine the stability of (36) when the orientation error K,=I K(,=0.21


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i .: .: . :.. ... :. . :. . :. .:. .. :.
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 0
. .. .. . .. . .. . ... ... ... .. : . : .: .: . :. .. . . . . _ . .. .. . . . . . .. .. . .
.. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . .. . .. . .. . .. . ... ... . .. . .. . . . . . . . : .. . ... .

i : : : : . : :



-- . 0.00 l0:OO 20.'00 30.'00 40.'00 50.'00 60.'00 -

* .
10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00


Fig. 4. Response with orientation error feedback given by eo = 6q.


- 0.

= E
* z

0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00

. . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. ..... . . ..... ............... .. ..... . ..... . ........ ....... ...... .... .. .... ...... ..... .. .... .. ..... . ..... ... ... ... .. .... .:....:. ...:. .
. . . . . . . . . . . .
.. . ...... ... . .. .. . .... . .. ... . .. ... .. . ..... . ..... . ... .. . .. . . . . :... . .... ... .. ....... ... .. .. . .... . ....
. ... . ..... ..... .. ..... .. ... .. ... .... .. ... .. ... . ... . ..... ..... .. ... .. ..... .... . .. .. .. ... .. ..... . .. .. ...... ... .. ... .


0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 0.00 10.00 20.00 30:OO 40:OO 5O:OO 60:OO
Fig. 5. Response with orientation error feedback given by eo = 2 69 Q.

where I is a 3 x 3 unit matrix. The orientation errors are presented in P. E. Nikravesh, 0. K. Kwon, and R. A. Wehage, “Euler parameters
the figures both as IlSq11, the Euclidean norm of 6q, and as the in computational kinematics and dynamics. Part 2,” ASME J . Mech.,
conventional Euler angles (roll, pitch, and yaw). Transmiss., Automat. Des., vol. 107, pp. 366-369. Sept. 1985.
Fig. 4 corresponds to the case with direct quaternion error B. Noble, Applied Linear Algebra. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-
feedback eo = 6q, while in Fig. 5 the error feedback was based on Hall, 1969.
S. W. Shepperd, “Quaternion from rotation matrix,” A I A A J .
Euler rotation eo = 2 67 6q. The convergence rates for the two cases Guidance Contr., vol. I, no. 3, pp. 223-224, May-June 1978.
are different as expected due to the different obtained in (29) and R. A. Mayo, “Relative quaternion state transition relation,” A I A A J .
(32). In particular, the results of Fig. 5 demonstrate that the Euler Guidance Contr., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 44-48, Jan.-Feb. 1979.
rotation representation of (4) is valid even for large orientation D. E. Whitney, “Resolved motion rate control of manipulators and
errors. human prostheses,” IEEE Tran. Man-Machine Syst., vol. MMS-IO,
no. 2, pp. 47-53, June 1969.
VI. CONCLUSIONS C. H. Wu and R. P. Paul, “Resolved motion force control of robot
Though quaternions are composed of a scalar and a vector, the manipulator,” IEEE Trans. Syst., Man Cybern., vol. SMC-12, no.
3, pp. 266-275, MayiJune 1982.
orientation error is adequately represented by only the vector portion
J. Y . S. Luh, M. W. Walker, and R. P. C. Paul, “On-line
of the quaternion difference between the actual and the desired hand computational scheme for mechanical manipulators,” ASME J .
orientation. This vector quaternion error formulation greatly simpli- Dynamic Syst., Meas. Contr., vol. 102, pp. 69-76, June 1980.
fies the stability analysis of the orientation error equations. W. Hahn, Stability of Motion. New York, NJ: Springer-Verlag,
Of the two types of quaternion feedback considered, the approach 1967.
using only 6q is far more superior to that derived from a Euler
rotation representation ( 2 67 6q) since the feedback gain is constant
and stability is globally asymptotic. The Euler rotation feedback has a
singularity when the actual hand orientation differs from its desired
orientation by 180”. In resolved rate control, this singularity Kinematics of a Robot with Continuous Roll Wrist
manifests itself as an equilibrium point with nonzero orientation
error, while in resolved acceleration control, the feedback gain KRISHNA C. GUPTA
(which is nonlinear) becomes infinitely large.
Abstract-Some operational details of the zero reference position
method are presented in the context of deriving kinematical equations for
The author wishes to thank F. Keung for preparing the experimen- a robot with a nonspherical continuous roll wrist.
tal results of this paper. He is also grateful for several insightful
comments from the reviewers. I. INTRODUCTION
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0882-496718810800-0440$01.OO 0 1988 IEEE