Design of a Variable Stiffness Mechanism using Parallel Redundant Actuation

Future robots will rely more than today on high precision, better energy efficiency and
safe handling (e.g. human-machine interaction). An inevitable step in the development
of new robots is therefore the improvement of existing mechanisms, since better sen-
sors and algorithms do not satisfy the demands alone. During the last three decades
Parallel Redundant Mechanisms (PRM) came more in the focus of research, as they
are advantageous in terms of singularity avoidance, fast movements and energy efficiency.
Subsequently, yet another technology - the Variable Impedance Actuator (VIA) - emerged
which proposes to change its inherent properties allowing an adaption to its environment
and to handle for example dynamic movements or shock absorptions. This work aims to
create a new mechanism where a stiffness and position control for 2 degrees of freedom
(DOF) is achieved with 3 actuators. It is thus a combination of the PRM and VIA, while
taking advantage of both technologies but asking for a more sophisticated mathematical
description. Practical implementation is intended for a humanoid ankle mechanism.
Kinematic, quasi-static and stiffness models are derived and incorporated for the simu-
lation of the mechanism and compared to a dynamic model in OpenModelica. A general
validity of the derived models is proved by this comparison. The simulations show that
improvements in terms of singularity removal and dexterity are achieved. Furthermore,
the adaptation of human like gait performances is presented.



Raum A 1.03, Robert-Hooke-Str. 1 in Bremen

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zuletzt geändert am 31.03.2023
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