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A Robotic “Jack Spring”™ for Ankle Gait Assistance

[+] Author Affiliations
Kevin W. Hollander, Thomas G. Sugar, Donald E. Herring

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2005-84492, pp. 25-34; 10 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 29th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4744-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


A Robotic ‘Jack Spring’™ is a new type of mechanical actuator, which is based upon the concept of structure control. A Jack Spring™ mechanism is used to create an adjustable Robotic Tendon, which is a spring based linear actuator in which the properties of a spring are crucial to its successful use in gait assistance. Like its human analog, the adjustable Robotic Tendon uses its inherent elastic nature to reduce both peak power and energy requirements for its motor. In the ideal example, peak power required of the motor for ankle gait is reduced from 250W to just 81 W. In addition, ideal energy requirements are reduced from nearly 36 Joules to just 25 Joules per step. Using this approach, an initial prototype is expected to provide 100% of the power and energy neccessary for ankle gait in a compact 0.84kg package. This weight is 8 times less than that predicted for an equivalent direct drive approach.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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