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A Novel Approach for Detecting Rotational Angles of a Precision Spherical Joint Based on a Capacitive Sensor

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou 310018, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
3
State Key Lab of Fluid Power & Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(5), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10050280
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Capacitive Sensors)
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Abstract

Precision spherical joints are commonly employed as multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) mechanical hinges in many engineering applications, e.g., robots and parallel manipulators. Real-time and precise measurement of the rotational angles of spherical joints is not only beneficial to the real-time and closed-loop control of mechanical transmission systems, but also is of great significance in the prediction and compensation of their motion errors. This work presents a novel approach for rotational angle measurement of spherical joints with a capacitive sensor. First, the 3-DOF angular motions of a spherical joint were analyzed. Then, the structure of the proposed capacitive sensor was presented, and the mathematical model for the rotational angles of a spherical joint and the capacitance of the capacitors was deduced. Finally, the capacitance values of the capacitors at different rotations were simulated using Ansoft Maxwell software. The simulation results show that the variation in the simulated capacitance values of the capacitors is similar to that of the theoretical values, suggesting the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed capacitive detection method for rotational angles of spherical joints. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacitive sensor; spherical joint; rotational angle; angular motion; orientation detection capacitive sensor; spherical joint; rotational angle; angular motion; orientation detection
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Wang, W.; Yang, H.; Zhang, M.; Chen, Z.; Shi, G.; Lu, K.; Xiang, K.; Ju, B. A Novel Approach for Detecting Rotational Angles of a Precision Spherical Joint Based on a Capacitive Sensor. Micromachines 2019, 10, 280.

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