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Design and Modeling of Variable Stiffness Joints Based on Compliant Flexures

[+] Author Affiliations
Gianluca Palli, Claudio Melchiorri, Giovanni Berselli, Gabriele Vassura

University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Paper No. DETC2010-28425, pp. 1069-1078; 10 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 34th Annual Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4410-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The development of safe and dependable robots for physical human-robot interaction is actually changing the way robot are designed introducing several new technological issues. Outstanding examples are the adoption of soft covers and compliant transmissions or the definition of motion control laws that allow a compliant behavior in reaction to possible collisions, while preserving accuracy and performance during the motion in the free space. In this scenario, a growing interest is devoted to the study of variable stiffness joints. With the aim of improving the compactness and the flexibility of existing mechanical solutions, a variable stiffness joint based on the use of compliant flexures is investigated. The proposed concept allows the implementation of a desired stiffness profile and range along with the selection of the maximum joint deflection. In particular, this paper reports a systematic procedure for the synthesis of a fully-compliant mechanism used as a non-linear transmission, together with a preliminary design of the overall joint.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Design , Modeling , Stiffness



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