Research Papers

On the Operation Space and Motion Compatibility of Variable Topology Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
Win-Bin Shieh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mingchi University of Technology, New Taipei 24301, Taiwan

Frederick Sun

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Dar-Zen Chen2

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwandzchen@ntu.edu.tw


Corresponding author.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 3(2), 021007 (Mar 30, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003579 History: Received November 19, 2009; Revised January 12, 2011; Published March 30, 2011; Online March 30, 2011

With the implementation of just one mechanism, variable topology mechanisms can serve the functions of many mechanisms by changing their topology. These types of mechanisms have raised interest and attracted numerous studies in recent years, yet few of these studies have focused discussing of these mechanisms in light of their operation space. As the change of a variable topology mechanism is induced by either intrinsic constraints or constraints due to the change of joint geometry profile, the operation space of kinematic joints and kinematic chains in various working stages is changed in accordance. A theoretic framework based on the concept of the operation space of variable topology mechanisms is presented here. A number of characteristics with regard to the motion compatibility among joints and loops in different working stages are derived, laying a foundation for systematical synthesis of variable topology mechanisms. Design of a novel latch mechanism for the standardized mechanical interface system is given as an illustrative example for the synthesis of a variable topology mechanism.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Motion , Topology , Mechanisms
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Figure 1

A metamorphic mechanism (5): (a) stage I—source mechanism and (b) stage II—a subphase mechanism

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Figure 2

Joint type changed by geometry (8): (a) stage I—about z-axis, (b) stage II—switching stage, and (c) stage III—along x-axis

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Figure 3

A kinematotropic chain (12): (a) stage I, (b) stage II—switching stage, and (c) stage III

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Figure 4

Schematic and graph representation of the U.S. 5915562 two-stage latch mechanism (17): (a) working stage I and (b) working stage II

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Figure 5

A generalized closed-loop kinematic chain of v links and v 1DOF joints

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Figure 6

Schematic and graph representation of a new two-stage latch mechanism: (a) working stage I and (b) working stage II



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