By: Christoph Stoeffler
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 actual mechanisms, since better sensors 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.
The presented work with the title “Design of a Variable Stiffness Mechanism using Parallel Redundant Kinematics” 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.
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