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

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

* ,
 and
Robotics and Mechatronics Group, CTIT Institute, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AEEnschede, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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)
Download PDF [10989 KB, 10 June 2014; original version 30 May 2014]

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
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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