A clutch mechanism for switching between position and stiffness control of a variable stiffness actuator

Marco Cempini*, Matteo Fumagalli, Nicola Vitiello, Stefano Stramigioli

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Variable stiffness actuators (VSA) are fostered in robotics for their capability to address physical interaction with a physically adjustable compliance, being advantageous in terms of efficiency, safety and adaptability to unknown environments. Here we introduce the concept of a switching VSA (sVSA), in which a single actuator is used to control the position or the stiffness of a robotic joint according to a mechanical switch. Despite not allowing simultaneous control of both quantities, this architecture has the potential to make the design lighter, requiring one continuously powered actuator, controllable in position, and one additional switch, activated only occasionally between two limit stages: the advantages are the separation of the motors power requirements and a simpler control. A first prototype of a 1-DoF revolute variable-stiffness joint has been built, based on the vsaUT-II developed at the University of Twente, with a novel clutch mechanism allowing continuous and efficient switching. The prototype proved functionality and feasibility of the sVSA concept.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
    Pages1017-1022
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4799-6923-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2015
    Event2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015 - Seattle, United States
    Duration: 26 May 201530 May 2015

    Conference

    Conference2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015
    Abbreviated titleICRA
    CountryUnited States
    CitySeattle
    Period26/05/1530/05/15

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