TitleDesign and characterization of a novel high-compliance spring for robots with soft joints
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
Conference NameIEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM)
AuthorsNegrello, F, Catalano, MG, Garabini, M, Poggiani, M, Caldwell, DG, Tsagarakis, NG, Bicchi, A
Conference LocationMunich, Germany, 3-7 July 2017
Accession Number17136847

Low stiffness elements have a number of applications in Soft Robotics, from Series Elastic Actuators (SEA) to torque sensors for compliant systems. In its general formulation, the design problem of elastic components is complex and depends on several variables: material properties, load range, shape factor and size constraints. Consequently, most of the spring designs presented in literature are based on heuristics or are optimized for specific working conditions. This work presents the design study and characterization of a scalable spoked elastic element with hinge tip constraints. We compared the proposed design with three existing spring principles, showing that the spoked solution is the convenient option for low-stiffness and low shape factor elastic elements. Therefore, a design analysis on the main scaling parameters of the spoked spring, namely number of spokes and type of constraints, is presented. Finally, an experimental characterization has been conducted on physical prototypes. The agreement among simulations and experimental results demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed concept.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
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