Although bevel-gear robotic wrists are widely used in industrial manipulators due to their simple kinematics and low manufacturing cost, their gear trains function under rolling and sliding, the latter bringing about noise and vibration. Sliding is inherent to the straight teeth of the bevel gears of these trains. Moreover, unavoidable backlash introduces unmodeled dynamics, which mars robot performance. To alleviate these drawbacks, a gearless pitch-roll wrist is currently under development for low backlash and high stiffness. The wrist consists of spherical cam-rollers and spherical Stephenson linkages, besides two roller-carrying disks that drive a combination of cams and Stephenson mechanisms, the whole system rotating as a differential mechanism. The paper focuses on the design of the chain of spherical Stephenson mechanisms. The problem of the dimensional synthesis is addressed, and interference avoidance is discussed. An embodiment of the concept is also included.
The Design of a Chain of Spherical Stephenson Mechanisms for a Gearless Robotic Pitch-Roll Wrist
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Hernandez, S., Bai, S., and Angeles, J. (June 6, 2005). "The Design of a Chain of Spherical Stephenson Mechanisms for a Gearless Robotic Pitch-Roll Wrist." ASME. J. Mech. Des. March 2006; 128(2): 422–429. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2167653
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