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Design, Kinematics and Prototype of a Flexible Robot Arm With Planar Springs

[+] Author Affiliations
Peng Qi, Hongbin Liu, Kaspar Althoefer

King’s College London, London, UK

Lakmal Seneviratne

Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAEKing’s College London, London, UK

Paper No. DETC2015-46503, pp. V05AT08A033; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 39th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5712-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Flexible robot arms have been developed for various medical and industrial applications because of their compliant structures enabling safe environmental interactions. This paper introduces a novel flexible robot arm comprising a number of elastically deformable planar spring elements arranged in series. The effects of flexure design variations on their layer compliance properties are investigated. Numerical studies of the different layer configurations are presented and finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulation is conducted. Based on the suspended platform’s motion of each planar spring, this paper then provides a new method for kinematic modeling of the proposed robot arm. The approach is based on the concept of simultaneous rotation and the use of Rodrigues’ rotation formula and is applicable to a wide class of continuum-style robot arms. At last, the flexible robot arms respectively integrated with two different types of compliance layers are prototyped. Preliminary test results are reported.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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