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Design of a Compact Gravity Equilibrator With an Unlimited Range of Motion

[+] Author Affiliations
Bob G. Bijlsma, Giuseppe Radaelli, Just L. Herder

Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2016-59549, pp. V05AT07A065; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2016-59549
From:
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 40th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5015-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME

abstract

A gravity equilibrator is a statically balanced system which is designed to counterbalance a mass such that any preferred position is eliminated and thereby the required operating effort to move the mass is greatly reduced. Current spring-to-mass gravity equilibrators are limited in their range of motion as a result of design limitations. An increment of the range of motion is desired to expand the field of applications. The goal of this paper is to present a compact one degree of freedom mechanical gravity equilibrator that can statically balance a rotating pendulum over an unlimited range of motion. Static balance over an unlimited range of motion is achieved by a coaxial gear train that uses non-circular gears. These gears convert the continuous rotation of the pendulum into a reciprocating rotation of the torsion bars. The pitch curves of the non-circular gears are specifically designed to balance a rotating pendulum. The gear train design and the method to calculate the parameters and the pitch curves of the non-circular gears are presented.

A prototype is designed and built to validate that the presented method can balance a pendulum over an unlimited range of motion. Experimental results show a work reduction of 87 % compared to an unbalanced pendulum and the hysteresis in the mechanism is 36 %.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME

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