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Research Papers

A Single-Degree-of-Freedom Self-Regulated Gravity Balancer for Adjustable Payload1

[+] Author and Article Information
Yu-Lin Chu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Taiwan University of
Science and Technology,
43, Section 4, Keelung Road,
Taipei 106, Taiwan

Chin-Hsing Kuo

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Taiwan University of
Science and Technology,
43, Section 4, Keelung Road,
Taipei 106, Taiwan
e-mail: chkuo717@mail.ntust.edu.tw

2Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 17, 2016; final manuscript received December 8, 2016; published online March 9, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Venkat Krovi.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 9(2), 021006 (Mar 09, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JMR-16-1321; doi: 10.1115/1.4035561 History: Received October 17, 2016; Revised December 08, 2016

This paper presents a single-degree-of-freedom (single-DoF) gravity balancer that can deal with variable payload without requesting manual or other auxiliary adjustment. The proposed design is an integration of two mechanism modules, i.e., a standard spring-based statically balanced mechanism and a spring adjusting mechanism. A tensile spring is attached to the statically balanced mechanism for balancing the payload, and its installation points are controlled by two cables, which are driven by the spring adjusting mechanism. When different payloads are applied, the spring adjusting mechanism will act to regulate the spring installation points to suitable places such that the overall potential energy of the mechanism and the (variable) payload remains constant within the workspace of the balancer. This therefore suggests the main novelty of the proposed design where the balancer mechanism can automatically sense and respond the change of the payload without manual adjustment to the balancing mechanism. A prototype is built up and successfully tested for the proposed concept.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Kinematic model of the conventional spring-based single-DoF gravity balancer

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Fig. 2

One-DoF gravity balancer that can automatically balance variable payloads

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Fig. 3

Payload changing position (θ = 0): (a) applying payload mp1 and (b) applying payload mp2

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Fig. 4

Implementation of the ideal spring

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Fig. 5

Geometric and mass parameters

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Fig. 6

The self-regulator mechanism—at the initial position: (a) mechanism motion and (b) cable arrangement

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Fig. 7

The gravity balancer with the self-regulator

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Fig. 8

Dimensions of the self-regulator

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Fig. 9

The slider positions versus variable payload for 0–2 kg

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Fig. 10

Numerical example of static balancing: (a) mp = 1 kg and (b) mp = 2 kg

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Fig. 11

Numerical example of synthesized cam profile

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Fig. 12

CAD model and prototype of the proposed design: (a) CAD model and (b) prototype

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Fig. 13

Manual test of the prototype: (a) mp = 1 kg and (b) mp = 2 kg

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