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A Cable Based Active Variable Stiffness Module With Decoupled Tension

[+] Author Affiliations
Xiaobo Zhou, Seung-kook Jun, Venkat Krovi

State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

Paper No. DETC2014-34522, pp. V05AT08A087; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4636-0
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Variable-stiffness modules add significant robustness to mechanical systems during forceful interactions with uncertain environments. Traditionally, most existing variable stiffness modules tend to be bulky by virtue of their use of solid components making them less suitable for mobile applications. In recent times, pretensioned cable-based modules have been proposed to reduce weight. While passive, these modules depend on significant internal tension to provide the desired stiffness and stiffness modulation capability tends to be limited. In this paper, we present design, analysis and testing of a cable based active variable stiffness module that can be realized to achieve a large stiffness range. Controlled changes in structural parameters (independent of cable length actuation) now permits independent modulation of the perceived stiffness with desired tension. This capability is now systematically evaluated on a hardware-in-the-loop experimental setup and results are analyzed.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Cables , Stiffness , Tension



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