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Actuators 2018, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/act7010001

A New and Versatile Adjustable Rigidity Actuator with Add-on Locking Mechanism (ARES-XL)

1
Centre for Automation and Robotics (CAR), UPM-CSIC, Arganda del Rey, 28500 Madrid, Spain
2
Marsi Bionics S.L. Alcala de Henares, 28805 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 5 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotic Actuators)
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Abstract

Adjustable compliant actuators are being designed and implemented in robotic devices because of their ability to minimize large forces due to impacts, to safely interact with the user, and to store and release energy in passive elastic elements. Conceived as a new force-controlled compliant actuator, an adjustable rigidity with embedded sensor and locking mechanism actuator (ARES-XL) is presented in this paper. This compliant system is intended to be implemented in a gait exoskeleton for children with neuro muscular diseases (NMDs) to exploit the intrinsic dynamics during locomotion. This paper describes the mechanics and initial evaluation of the ARES-XL, a novel variable impedance actuator (VIA) that allows the implementation of an add-on locking mechanism to this system, and in combination with its zero stiffness capability and large deflection range, provides this novel joint with improved properties when compared to previous prototypes developed by the authors and other state-of-the-art (SoA) devices. The evaluation of the system proves how this design exceeds the main capabilities of a previous prototype as well as providing versatile actuation that could lead to its implementation in multiple joints. View Full-Text
Keywords: variable stiffness actuator; compliant mechanisms; exoskeleton; adjustable stiffness; force sensor variable stiffness actuator; compliant mechanisms; exoskeleton; adjustable stiffness; force sensor
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Cestari, M.; Sanz-Merodio, D.; Garcia, E. A New and Versatile Adjustable Rigidity Actuator with Add-on Locking Mechanism (ARES-XL). Actuators 2018, 7, 1.

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