Simple 3-D Manipulator Implementation

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N on 23 Jan 2021
Commented: N on 2 Feb 2021
I am looking to implement a very simple manipulator arm (say 3DOF). So far, I have just used the example in the rigidBodyTree documentation to display my simple manipulator arm. Now, I want to add some random 3-D waypoints so it can follow a trajectory to a specific end point, and I want to show the animation. How do i accomplish this?
I have no prior experience with MATLAB or mechanics etc. so am looking for the simplest toolsets. I know there is the Robotics System toolbox, and I have heard of the Peter Corke one. I have limited time. Which will be the best option? (I am using the online version of MATLAB.)
Thanks!

Karsh Tharyani on 27 Jan 2021
It is great to hear from you and I am glad to see your interest in the Robotics System Toolbox. As a starting guide, you can refer to the following blog post https://blogs.mathworks.com/racing-lounge/2019/11/06/robot-manipulator-trajectory/
The Robotics System Toolbox provides several trajectory planning functions which can help in your use case. It sounds like you want your end-effector to follow a certain set of cartesian waypoints. This is commonly referred to as a trajectory in Task Space. Hence, given a certain set of end-effector poses, you would have to use inverse kinematics (IK) to translate this pose to a joint configuration of your robot (this is a row or column vector specifying the position of each revolute or prismatic joint on your robot). The downside with Task Space trajectories is that you call IK for every end-effector pose - and if this is not analytical, the computational times for a trajectory can be high.
You can read about the IK solvers in Robotics System Toolbox here https://www.mathworks.com/help/robotics/ref/inversekinematics-system-object.html
I hope that helps.
N on 2 Feb 2021
Hello, is there a blog post / video/ example that describes how to generate a path (before generating a trajectory)? I just realized they are two different things, when I read your lin above. I followed an example and created a smple manipulator with axes as per another example, but now I am not sure how to generate a path with respect to the example axis. Thanks.

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