A Primer on Parallel Manipulators

A four degree of freedom parallel manipulator based flight simulator (source: SLR Netherlands)

The parallel manipulators have been studied as a mathematical problem for some time. Octahedral structure has aroused most interest because of its special properties. Even today the Octahedral Structure has found most applications.

One of the first applications came in form of a Tyre testing machine. In 1965 Stewart published his paper defining the structure now known as Stewart Platform. One of the applications proposed in the paper was as mechanism for flight simulator. Along with this was also proposed application as a milling machine

Since late 1980s parallel manipulators have invited a lot of research. The number of papers published on the subject have increased dramatically.

The Parallel manipulators especially Stewart Platforms have been widely applied for varied purposes like-