Topic Title

Motion Platform Optimization

Topic Description

The number of applications of parallel manipulators has increased enormously during the last decades due to their advantages of high speed, stiffness, accuracy, load/weight ratio, etc. Certain drawbacks of such robotic platforms are the limitation of workspace and a lack of flexibility, which does not allow modifying their geometry to the tasks at hand easily. We want to solve these problems by the design based approach of a reconfigurable base. In detail, we focus our research on parallel manipulators of Stewart-Gough type (see Figures 6.6.1 and 6.6.2) having the additional property that the geometry of the base is variable due to some extra joints. The aim is the determination of kinematic simple designs and the study of the optimal reconfiguration of the base during the motion.


Qualification Profile

A suitable background in geometry and/or mathematics or a related subject (e.g. mechanical design) is required; preferable with a diploma thesis (or at least basic knowledge) in the field of kinematics/robotics.



This topic is supervised by a team of 3 supervisors. Lead supervisor is Georg Nawratil (Institute of Discrete Mathematics and Geometry). Additional supervisors are Hannes Kaufmann (Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems) and Florian Rist (Institute of Art and Design).

Figure 6.6.1: The moving platform is connected by six spherical-prismatic-spherical legs with the base. These so-called hexapods are of great interest for virtual reality motion simulations.


Figure 6.6.2: The linear platform is connected by five spherical-prismatic-spherical legs with the base. These pentapods are well suited for 5-axis milling, spot-welding, laser- or water-jet engraving/cutting, etc.