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Actuators 2014, 3(2), 107-123; doi:10.3390/act3020107

A Novel Variable Stiffness Mechanism Capable of an Infinite Stiffness Range and Unlimited Decoupled Output Motion

Robotics and Mechatronics Group, CTIT Institute, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AEEnschede, The Netherlands
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Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 1 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2014 / Published: 3 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Actuators)

Abstract

In this paper, a novel variable stiffness mechanism is presented, which is capable of achieving an output stiffness with infinite range and an unlimited output motion, i.e., the mechanism output is completely decoupled from the rotor motion, in the zero stiffness configuration. The mechanism makes use of leaf springs, which are engaged at different positions by means of two movable supports, to realize the variable output stiffness. The Euler–Bernoulli leaf spring model is derived and validated through experimental data. By shaping the leaf springs, it is shown that the stiffness characteristic of the mechanism can be changed to fulfill different application requirements. Alternative designs can achieve the same behavior with only one leaf spring and one movable support pin.
Keywords: variable stiffness mechanism; hypocycloid gearing; leaf spring; infinite stiffness range; unlimited motion variable stiffness mechanism; hypocycloid gearing; leaf spring; infinite stiffness range; unlimited motion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Groothuis, S.; Carloni, R.; Stramigioli, S. A Novel Variable Stiffness Mechanism Capable of an Infinite Stiffness Range and Unlimited Decoupled Output Motion. Actuators 2014, 3, 107-123.

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