In this paper, the rotational variable stiffness actuator vsaUT-II is presented. This actuation system is characterized by the property that the apparent stiffness at the actuator output can be varied independently from its position. This behavior is realized by implementing a variable transmission ratio between the internal elastic elements and the actuator output, i.e., a lever arm with variable pivot point position. The pivot point is moved by a planetary gears mechanism, which acquires a straight motion from only rotations, thereby providing a low-friction transmission. The working principle details of the vsaUT-II are elaborated and the design is presented. The actuator dynamics are described by means of a lumped parameter model. The relevant parameters of the actuator are estimated and identified in the physical setup and measurements are used to validate both the design and the derived model.
- CE-Advanced Robotics