Variable Stiffness Physical Interaction in Robotic Devices and Machines

A special issue of Machines (ISSN 2075-1702). This special issue belongs to the section "Automation and Control Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2023) | Viewed by 3825

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering for Innovation Medicine, Section of Engineering and Physics, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
Interests: mechanics of machines; compliant mechanisms; soft-mechatronics; variable stiffness actuators; force/torque sensors; cable-driven mechanisms; multibody dynamics; bio-mechanics; micro-mechanisms; micro electro-mechanical systems; energy-harvesting; robotics; surgical robotics; haptics; teleoperation; surgical robotic tools; sustainable design; mechanical intelligence; legged robots; exoskeletons
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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical, Energy and Management Engineering, Università della Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy
Interests: robotics; robot design; mechatronics; walking hexapod; design procedure; mechanics of machinery; leg–wheel
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Variable stiffness in physical interactions is a common feature in nature (i.e., tree–branch connections in flora, cartilage–bone connections in fauna), in our daily lives (i.e., hand–phone interaction while grasping; foot–ground interaction while walking), in our machines (e.g., human–robot interaction and wheel–ground interaction in our automobiles), and structures (e.g., electric cable–pylon connections). Therefore, it is fundamental to understand the behavior of the variable stiffness in physical interactions, from both hardware and software point of views, to develop innovative robotic devices and machines for daily use.

In this Special Issue, we would like to explore the variable stiffness in physical connections and interactions from a mechanical and control point of view. To this end, we welcome the submission of papers presenting new challenges in the control, design, and development of compliant machines, novel compliant mechanisms and systems, new robots and devices, and many other architectures and artefacts.

This Special Issue is open (but not limited) to the following topics:

  • Compliant mechanisms;
  • Biomechanics;
  • Parallel mechanisms;
  • Parallel manipulators;
  • Micromachines;
  • Cable-driven systems;
  • Tendon-driven systems;
  • Soft robotics;
  • Machine design;
  • Control systems;
  • Flexure hinges;
  • Variable stiffness systems.

Dr. Giovanni Gerardo Muscolo
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Carbone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Machines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • compliant mechanisms
  • parallel mechanisms
  • parallel manipulators
  • micro-machines
  • cable-driven systems
  • tendon-driven systems
  • soft robotics
  • machine design
  • control systems
  • flexure hinges
  • variable stiffness systems

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 4455 KiB  
Article
Design and Construction of a Prototype of an Assisting Device for Arm Exercise
by Marco Ceccarelli, Susana Sanz, Vicente Díaz and Matteo Russo
Machines 2024, 12(2), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines12020145 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
A new portable arm exercise device is presented as a laboratory prototype to assist arm movements in rehabilitation therapies and movement exercises. Unlike the devices currently used, a portable design is proposed, with easy assembly and operational characteristics that enable it to be [...] Read more.
A new portable arm exercise device is presented as a laboratory prototype to assist arm movements in rehabilitation therapies and movement exercises. Unlike the devices currently used, a portable design is proposed, with easy assembly and operational characteristics that enable it to be used by users in the home and in a familiar environment. Sensors are also provided on the rotating crank to validate and monitor the efficiency of the arm exercise. A low-cost prototype is assembled using off-the-shelf components and 3D-printed parts. Design issues are discussed and elaborated on to build a prototype for future laboratory testing using fairly simple experimental methodology. Preliminary testing by one author shows good feasibility of the device. The findings from the experimental results can be summarized as effective smooth-monitored cyclic motion in the crank rotation with limited values for acceleration less than 1 g and for acting user forces less than 22 N. The values detected are significantly lower in the left hand, with the testing subject being right-handed and healthy, without injury to her upper limbs. Full article
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23 pages, 5713 KiB  
Article
A New Cable-Driven Model for Under-Actuated Force–Torque Sensitive Mechanisms
by Giovanni Gerardo Muscolo and Paolo Fiorini
Machines 2023, 11(6), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11060617 - 3 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1721
Abstract
Force–torque sensors are used in many and different domains (i.e., space, medicine, biology, etc.). Design solutions of force–torque sensors can be conceived by using many types of connections or components; however, there are only a few sensors designed using cable-driven systems. This could [...] Read more.
Force–torque sensors are used in many and different domains (i.e., space, medicine, biology, etc.). Design solutions of force–torque sensors can be conceived by using many types of connections or components; however, there are only a few sensors designed using cable-driven systems. This could be related to many reasons, one of which being that cables are able only to pull and not push. In this paper, a new cable-driven model for under-actuated force–torque sensing mechanisms is proposed, simulated, and tested, underlining the novelty of using cables for force–torque sensing. Analytical formulations, simulations, and physical implementations are presented in this paper. Results confirm that the new proposed model can be used for force–torque sensing mechanisms in micro- and macro- applications where under-actuation is a fundamental requirement, as in robotic surgery. The proposed model and mechanism can be used in the design of sensors and actuators. The innovative model is validated with two different test benches, opening new challenges in the design and development of under-actuated force–torque transducers. Full article
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