Technical Briefs

Design of a Variable Stiffness Actuator Based on Flexures

[+] Author and Article Information
Gianluca Palli1

e-mail: gianluca.palli@unibo.it

Giovanni Berselli

e-mail: giovanni.berselli@unibo.it

Claudio Melchiorri

e-mail: claudio.melchiorri@unibo.it

Gabriele Vassura

e-mail: gabriele.vassura@unibo.it DEIS – DIEM – Università di Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy

Advantages and critical aspects of antagonistic VSA when compared to different variable stiffness actuation system are briefly remarked in Refs. [1,7].


Corresponding author.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 3(3), 034501 (Jul 19, 2011) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004228 History: Received May 31, 2010; Revised April 26, 2011; Published July 19, 2011; Online July 19, 2011

Variable stiffness actuators can be used in order to achieve a suitable trade-off between performance and safety in robotic devices for physical human–robot interaction. With the aim of improving the compactness and the flexibility of existing mechanical solutions, a variable stiffness actuator based on the use of flexures is investigated. The proposed concept allows the implementation of a desired stiffness profile and range. In particular, this paper reports a procedure for the synthesis of a fully compliant mechanism used as a nonlinear transmission element, together with its experimental characterization. Finally, a preliminary prototype of the overall joint is depicted.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Scheme of the working principle of an antagonistic VSA

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Figure 2

Exploded view of the VSA

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Figure 3

(a) Positive and (b) negative deformation of the CTE

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Figure 4

Schematic view of the C4LM on the CTE

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Figure 5

Detailed view of the CTE (all the dimensions are in millimeters)

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Figure 6

Preliminary prototype of the CTE manufactured in aluminum 7075-T6 by means of wire electroerosion

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Figure 7

Torque-deflection characteristic of the CTE

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Figure 8

Preliminary prototype of the VSA

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Figure 9

Torque-deflection characteristic of the VSA for different values of the commanded stiffness



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