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Design of Lead Screw Actuators for Wearable Robotic Applications

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

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2005-84595, pp. 237-246; 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 wearable robot is a controlled and actuated device that is in direct contact with its user. As such, the implied requirements of this device are that it must be portable, lightweight and most importantly safe. To achieve these goals an actuator with a good ‘power to weight’ ratio, good mechanical efficiency, good ‘strength to weight’ ratio and that is safe is desired. The design of the standard lead screw does not normally perform well in any of these categories. The typical lead screw has low pitch angles and large radii, thereby yielding low mechanical efficiencies and high weight. However, using the design procedure outlined in this text both efficiency and weight are improved, thus yielding a lead screw system with performances that rival human muscle. The result of an example problem reveals a feasible lead screw design that has a ‘power to weight’ ratio of 277W/kg, approaching that of the DC motor driving it, at 312W/kg, as well as a mechanical efficiency of 0.74, and a maximum ‘strength to weight’ ratio of 11.3kN/kg(1154kgf/kg).

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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