A Novel Wire-driven Variable-stiffness Joint Based on A Permanent Magnetic Mechanism

[+] Author and Article Information
Ming Zhang

Cultural Road, Heping District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province Shenyang, Liaoning 110819 China zm201234@hotmail.com

Lijin Fang

NO. 3-11, Wenhua Road, Heping District, Shenyang, P. R. China Shenyang, Liaoning 110819 China ljfang@mail.neu.edu.cn

Feng Sun

NO.111, Shenliao West Road,Economic and Technological Development Zone, Shenyang,110870,Liaoning,China. Shenyang, Liaoning 110870 China sunfeng@sut.edu.cn

Koichi Oka

185 Miyanokuchi, Tosayamada, Kami city Kami, 782-8502 Japan oka.koichi@kochi-tech.ac.jp

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received July 2, 2018; final manuscript received April 22, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: K. H. Low.

1Ming Zhang (leader author) is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, China. His research focuses on flexible robots. e-mail: zm201234@hotmail.com.

2Lijin Fang (corresponding author) is a professor at Northeastern University, China. His research focuses on robotics. e-mail: ljfang@mail.neu.edu.cn.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043684 History: Received July 02, 2018; Accepted April 25, 2019


The variable stiffness joint (VSJ) plays an important role in creating compliant and powerful motions. This paper presents a novel wire-driven VSJ based on a permanent magnetic mechanism (PMM). The proposed joint regulates the joint stiffness with lower energy consumption through a wide range via the permanent magnetic mechanism. This effect possibly depends on the novel nonlinear combination of a permanent magnet spring and wire-driven system that achieves the same stiffness with lower wire tension. A trapezoidal layout of the joint is proposed. Because of the relationship among the stiffness, the position of the joint and the stiffness of the PMM, the stiffness model is also established. Based on this model, the decoupling controller is built to independently control the position and stiffness of the joint. Experiments show that the VSJPMM achieves position and stiffness independently and also reduces energy and power required to regulate the stiffness compared with the traditional approach. In addition, the proposed mechanism displays a powerful motion and short stiffness adjustment time.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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