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research-article

Design and Modeling of a Compliant Link for Inherently Safe Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Yu She

Graduate Research Associate, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA, Columbus, Ohio 43210
she.22@osu.edu

Hai-Jun Su

ASME Fellow, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA, Columbus, Ohio 43210
su.298@osu.edu

Deshan Meng

Visiting Graduate Student, Department of Mechanical and Automation, Shenzhen Graduate School, Harbin Institute of Technology, Guangdong, Shenzhen 518055, P.R. China,
dsmeng@hit.edu.cn

Siyang Song

Graduate Research Associate, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA, Columbus, Ohio 43210
song.1252@osu.edu

Junmin Wang

ASME Fellow, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, USA, Columbus, Ohio 43210
wang.1381@osu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038530 History: Received April 03, 2017; Revised November 10, 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a variable width compliant link that is designed for optimal trade-off of safety and control performance for inherently safe corobots. Intentionally introducing compliance to mechanical design increases safety of corobots. Traditional approaches mostly focus on the joint compliance while few of them study the link compliance. Here, we propose a novel method to design compliant robotic links with a safety constraint which is quantified by Head Injury Criterion (HIC). The robotic links are modeled as a 2D beam with a variable width. Given a safety threshold i.e. HIC constraint, the width distribution along the link is optimized to give a uniform distribution of HIC, which guarantees inherently safety for human operators. This solution is validated by a huamn-robot impact simulation program built in Matlab. A static model and Pseudo-Rigid-Body (PRB) model of the variable width link are derived and verified by finite element simulations. Not only stress in the link is reduced, this new design has a better control and dynamic performance measured by a larger natural frequency and a larger bandwidth compared with designs made of uniform beams and compliant joints. The proposed variable width link takes full advantage of the link rigidity while keeps inherent safety during a human-robot impact. This paper demonstrates the compliant link solution could be a promising approach for addressing safety concerns of human robot interactions.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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