A vision-based three degree-of-freedom translational parallel manipulator (TPM) was developed. The developed TPM has the following characteristics. First, the TPM is driven by three rodless pneumatic actuators and is designed as a horizontal structure to enlarge its horizontal working space to cover a conveyor. Then, a robot-vision system (including a webcam mounted on the TPM) collects images of objects on the conveyor and transfers them through the LabVIEW application programming interface for image processing. Since it is very difficult to achieve precise position control of the TPM due to the nonlinear couplings among the robot axes, feedback linearization is utilized to design an adaptive interval type-2 fuzzy controller with self-tuning fuzzy sliding-mode compensation (AIT2FC-STFSMC) for each rodless pneumatic actuator to attenuate nonlinearities, function approximation errors, and external disturbances. Finally, experiments proved that the vision-based three degree-of-freedom TPM was capable of accurately tracking desired trajectories and precisely executing pick-and-place movement in real time.
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