Certification of Dietmaier's Stewart platform with 40 real positions

Jonathan Hauenstein and Frank Sottile
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    The Stewart-Gough platform (or 6-bar parallel manipulator) has an interesting history, both within kinematics and in applications of algebraic geometry. An introduction to this, together with background on the work of Dietmaier may be found here.
    In 1998, Dietmaier ([D]) produced a Stewart platform with 40 real positions. This was a `numerical' proof, and apparently some doubt its veracity. Among the many who checked his work was Jan Verschelde, who included it in his test suite/demos of problems for PHCPack. (stewgou40).
    Based on Verschelde's demo, we generated a system of equations (with rational coefficients) modeling Dietmaier's platform, solved that system with PHCPack, and then certified that it indeed has 40 real solutions using alphaCertified. This page documents that calculation, with directions on how to re-run our test and the files we used and created in the course of that test.
Before you begin, you will need to have perl, Maple (this has run with Maple 12 and Maple 14), phc, as well as a working binary of alphaCertified on your machine. Here is the bash session that ran this certification:

>: maple -q Dietmaier.create.maple
>: phc -b Dietmaier.phc

Do you want the output to file ? (y/n) y

Reading the name of the output file.
Give a string of characters : Dietmaier.out

>: perl grab.perl
>: maple CheckSolutions.maple > output
>: sh scour.sh

[D]  P. Dietmaier, The Stewart-Gough platform of general geometry can have 40 real postures, in Advances in Robot Kinematics: Analysis and Control, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998, 1--10.

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Last modified: Mon Nov 22 17:49:13 CDT 2010