Articles & Tutorials

A simple and systematic approach to assigning Denavit-Hartenberg parameters

or how to simply/quickly figure out the DH parameters of a serial-link manipulator.


This short paper appeared in TRO vol 23, pp 590-594, June 2007.


This paper presents a simple and intuitive approach to determining the kinematic parameters of a serial-link robot in Denavit and Hartenberg notation. Once a manipulator’s kinematics is parameterized in this form a large body of standard algorithms and code implementations for kinematics, dynamics, motion planning and simulation are available. The proposed method has two parts. The first is the “walk through”, a simple procedure that creates a string of elementary translations and rotations, from the user defined base coordinate to the end-effector. The second step is an algebraic procedure to manipulate this string into a form that can be factorized as link transforms which can be represented in standard or modified Denavit and Hartenberg notation. The method allows for an arbitrary base and end-effector coordinate system as well as an arbitrary zero joint angle pose. The algebraic procedure is amenable to computer algebra manipulation.

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