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The wearing of headscarves by three Moroccan girls in a French public school in the autumn of 1989 was considered an affaire d'état, debated up to the highest official level. For most Dutchmen this turmoil was quite amazing. In the Netherlands, earlier that same year, echoes of the Rushdie case did lead to a heated debate, which reached cabinet level. However, public polemics on Islam soon settled down and henceforth the few controversies over the wearing of headscarves in public schools and other similar incidents were usually settled quickly at the level of school or, in the worst cases, municipal administrations. Since a year and a half ago, however, a series of incidents seems to indicate that something has changed in the Netherlands.
The paper presents results of research on an inverse kinematics algorithm that has been used in a functional model of a cucumber-harvesting robot consisting of a redundant P6R manipulator. Within a first generic approach, the inverse kinematics problem was reformulated as a non-linear programming problem and solved with a Genetic Algorithm (GA). Although solutions were easily obtained, the considerable calculation time needed to solve the problem prevented on-line implementation. To circumvent this problem, a second, less generic, approach was developed which consisted of a mixed numerical-analytic solution of the inverse kinematics problem exploiting the particular structure of the P6R manipulator. Using the latter approach, calculation time was considerably reduced. During the early stages of the cucumber-harvesting project, this inv...
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