The Geometry of Intersecting Tubes Applied to Controlling a Robotic
by John M. Stockie
(Special Issue on Maple in Industry),
vol. 5, no. 2/3, pp. 58-66.
The question of how to control a robotic welding torch to trace the
joint between two cylindrical pipes can be reduced to a problem in
algebra. Maple can be utilised to derive the parametric equations
describing the curve of intersection between the two cylinders, and then
to explore the solution graphically for various physical parameters.
This problem can serve as an excellent introduction to the use of Maple
for simplifying and solving systems of equations, and offers several
straightforward extensions that increase its applicability to more
advanced mathematics courses.
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