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Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1869;

Design and Vibration Suppression Control of a Modular Elastic Joint

State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, West Dazhi Street, Harbin 150001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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In this paper, a novel mechatronic design philosophy is introduced to develop a compact modular rotary elastic joint for a humanoid manipulator. The designed elastic joint is mainly composed of a brushless direct current (DC) motor, harmonic reducer, customized torsional spring, and fail-safe brake. The customized spring considerably reduces the volume of the elastic joint and facilitates the construction of a humanoid manipulator which employs this joint. The large central hole along the joint axis brings convenience for cabling and the fail-safe brake can guarantee safety when the power is off. In order to reduce the computational burden on the central controller and simplify system maintenance, an expandable electrical system, which has a double-layer control structure, is introduced. Furthermore, a robust position controller for the elastic joint is proposed and interpreted in detail. Vibration of the elastic joint is suppressed by means of resonance ratio control (RRC). In this method, the ratio between the resonant and anti-resonant frequency can be arbitrarily designated according to the feedback of the nominal spring torsion. Instead of using an expensive torque sensor, the spring torque can be obtained by calculating the product of spring stiffness and deformation, due to the high linearity of the customized spring. In addition, to improve the system robustness, a motor-side disturbance observer (DOb) and an arm-side DOb are employed to estimate and compensate for external disturbances and system uncertainties, such as model variation, friction, and unknown external load. Validity of the DOb-based RRC is demonstrated in the simulation results. Experimental results show the performance of the modular elastic joint and the viability of the proposed controller further. View Full-Text
Keywords: elastic joint; customized torsional spring; fail-safe brake; resonance ratio control; disturbance observer elastic joint; customized torsional spring; fail-safe brake; resonance ratio control; disturbance observer

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Liu, H.; Cui, S.; Liu, Y.; Ren, Y.; Sun, Y. Design and Vibration Suppression Control of a Modular Elastic Joint. Sensors 2018, 18, 1869.

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