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Experimental Verification of a Passive-Assist Design Approach for Improved Reliability and Efficiency of Robot Arms

[+] Author Affiliations
W. Robert Brown, A. Galip Ulsoy

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. DSCC2012-MOVIC2012-8798, pp. 113-122; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 5th Annual Dynamic Systems and Control Conference joint with the JSME 2012 11th Motion and Vibration Conference
  • Volume 2: Legged Locomotion; Mechatronic Systems; Mechatronics; Mechatronics for Aquatic Environments; MEMS Control; Model Predictive Control; Modeling and Model-Based Control of Advanced IC Engines; Modeling and Simulation; Multi-Agent and Cooperative Systems; Musculoskeletal Dynamic Systems; Nano Systems; Nonlinear Systems; Nonlinear Systems and Control; Optimal Control; Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems; Power and Renewable Energy Systems; Powertrain Systems
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, October 17–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4530-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper experimentally validates the simulation model developed in previous work to improve the reliability and efficiency of robot arms via a passive-assist design approach. Specifically, this procedure alters the mechanical design of a robot arm by incorporating a parallel spring designed to reduce the peak motor torque and energy required to perform a specified maneuver. Our experiment consisted of a single link robot arm, worm gear transmission, DC motor, sensors, and a PC based controller. We experimentally demonstrated that our model is accurate to within 3% and that the addition of a well-designed spring can reduce peak motor torques by ∼50% and energy consumption by as much as 25%.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Reliability , Design



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