I am back from South Korea and will gradually deliver to you a few reviews as
The 2nd Workshop on Computational Kinematics was held at the scenic campus of
Seoul National University. Some remarkable results were presented with 16 out
of 28 papers being devoted to parallel mechanisms. A short report will be
published online by next week.
Immediately after the workshop, ICRA 2001 was held at Seoul's huge Convention
Center. Some 32 presentations out of 678 were related to parallel mechanisms.
International attendance was quite strong too. Photos and movies are already
available at the conference web site ().
Seminars were held at several different robotics laboratories. Dr. Zlatanov
visited Prof. Uchiyama's lab at Tohoku University and Prof. Takeda's lab at
Tokyo Institute of Technology. I joined him later to visit and hold seminars
at Prof. Ryu's lab at K-JIST and Prof. Kwon's lab at KAIST. We will bring
shortly a report on all those visits with photos and information that are
otherwise unavailable on the web.
A number of parallel mechanisms were demonstrated to us at Seoul National
University as part of the workshop program. Those included the already
commercially-available ECLIPSE manipulator and some of its predecessors. One
of them was a modified version of Prof. Tsai's 3-DOF 3-UPU translation robot
which puzzled everyone with its unexpected architecture singularity. A short
review will be published to show how the inevitable manufacturing tolerances
may cause failure to a perfectly good theoretical design.
There was also a nice video presentation by one of the Japanese manufacturers
of motion simulators (). Unfortunately, we witnessed
the problem of patent violation, this time concerning Dr. Merlet's "active
wrist" (). Recall that another
such ambiguous situation is present with MicroDexterity Systems and their
ParaDex (). In addition, I saw a Delta robot at a
different location, built by a Korean company five years ago when the design
was still protected there ().
The problem with patent filing and subsequent protection is a serious yet
obscure one and calls for some discussions. I hope that some of you will share
My colleague Lionel Birglen has prepared a great review on haptic devices
based on parallel mechanisms that will be officially posted as soon as the
photo copyrights are cleared.
June 4, 2001
* On April 2, 2001, BAE SYSTEMS Flight Simulation and Training (formerly
Reflectone) was acquired by CAE of Toronto, Canada and renamed CAE USA