In this work, we present a new continuously variable transmission concept: the Dual-Hemi Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). It is designed to have properties we believe are required to apply continuously variable transmissions in robotics to their full potential. These properties are a transformation range that includes both positive and negative ratios, back-drivability under all conditions, kinematically decoupled reconfiguration, high efficiency of the transmission, and a reconfiguration mechanism requiring little work for changing the transmission ratio. The design of the Dual-Hemi CVT and a prototype realisation are discussed in detail. We show that the Dual-Hemi CVT has the aforementioned desired properties. Experiments show that the efficiency of the CVT is above 90% for a large part of the range of operation of the CVT. Significant stiction in the transmission, combined with a relatively low bandwidth for changing the transmission ratio, may cause problems when applying the DH-CVT as part of an actuator in a control loop.
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