TitleVariable Impedance Actuators: a Review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsVanderborght, B, Albu-Schaeffer, A, Bicchi, A, Burdet, E, Caldwell, DG, Carloni, R, Catalano, MG, Eiberger, O, Friedl, W, Ganesh, G, Garabini, M, Grebenstein, M, Grioli, G, Haddadin, S, Hoppner, H, Jafari, A, Laffranchi, M, Lefeber, D, Petit, F, Stramigioli, S, Tsagarakis, NG, Damme, VM, Ham, VR, Visser, LC, Wolf, S
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Date Published12/2013
KeywordsRobotics, Soft robotics, Variable Impedance Actuators

Variable Impedance Actuators (VIA) have received increasing attention in recent years as many novel applications involving interactions with an unknown and dynamic environment including humans require actuators with dynamics that are not well-achieved by classical stiff actuators. This paper presents an overview of the different VIAs developed and proposes a classification based on the principles through which the variable stiffness and damping are achieved. The main classes are active impedance by control, inherent compliance and damping actuators, inertial actuators, and combinations of them, which are then further divided into subclasses. This classification allows for designers of new devices to orientate and take inspiration and users of VIA’s to be guided in the design and implementation process for their targeted application.


Available online 6 August 2013

Refereed DesignationRefereed
PDF icon [PDF]1.28 MB