Robotics 2
Parallel Manipulators
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Link to YouTube Activity Completion Video:
To complete this lab activity, make a video that includes the following in one video:

(1) You saying your name
(2) Your Python simulation rotating the platform
Up until now, all of the manipulators we have looked at are a type known as 'serial' manipulators.  Serial manipulators consist of joints connected in a sort of line - the first joint is connected to the ground on one end and to the next joint on the other end.  Each joint after the first is connected to the joint before it and the joint after it, and the last joint is connected to the joint before it and to the end-effector. 

Parallel manipulators are arranged differently - every joint is connected both to the ground and to the end-effector.  You've probably seen examples of parallel manipulators before: flight simulators, entertainment simulators in theme parks, and most kinds of robotic 'platforms' are all parallel manipulators.
We've already learned about several aspects of inverse kinematics for serial manipulators: we learned how to use the 'graphical method' to find the inverse kinematics equations for position, and we learned how to use a spherical wrist to do inverse kinematics for end-effector orientation.  In this video, we learn how to do inverse kinematics for parallel manipulators.  Our general approach will be to draw in vectors for each part of the parallel manipulator, then use vector addition to find the vectors of the legs given a desired vector for the center of the platform.
In this video, I give an example of how to solve the inverse kinematics for a parallel manipulator, using the methods taught in the last video.
In this video, we will build a simulation of a parallel manipulator (in other words, a 'simulator of a simulator') in Python.