Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Electrical and Systems Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Heinz Schaettler


In this dissertation, we develop an efficient method of generating minimal jerk trajectories for redundant robots in trajectory following problems. We show that high jerk is a local phenomenon, and therefore focus on optimizing regions of high jerk that occur when using traditional trajectory generation methods. The optimal trajectory is shown to be located on the foliation of self-motion manifolds, and this property is exploited to express the problem as a minimal dimension Bolza optimal control problem. A numerical algorithm based on ideas from pseudo-spectral optimization methods is proposed and applied to two example planar robot structures with two redundant degrees of freedom. When compared with existing trajectory generation methods, the proposed algorithm reduces the integral jerk of the examples by 75% and 13%. Peak jerk is reduced by 98% and 33%. Finally a real time controller is proposed to accurately track the planned trajectory given real-time measurements of the tool-tip's following error.


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