Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Intuitive Physical Human–Robot Interaction Using an Underactuated Redundant Manipulator With Complete Spatial Rotational Capabilities
    by Audet JM, Gosselin C. on July 21, 2021 at 12:00 am

    AbstractIn this paper, the concept of underactuated redundancy is presented using a novel spatial two-degrees-of-freedom (2-DoF) gravity-balanced rotational manipulator, composed of movable counterweights. The proposed kinematic arrangement makes it possible to intuitively manipulate a payload undergoing 3-DoF spatial rotations by adding a third rotational axis oriented in the direction of gravity. The static equilibrium equations of the 2-DoF architecture are first described in order to provide the required configuration of the counterweights for a statically balanced mechanism. A method for calibrating the mechanism, which establishes the coefficients of the static equilibrium equations, is also presented. In order to both translate and rotate the payload during manipulation, the rotational manipulator is mounted on an existing translational manipulator. Experimental validations of both systems are presented to demonstrate the intuitive and responsive behavior of the manipulators during physical human–robot interactions.

  • Special Section: Mobile Robots and Unmanned Ground Vehicles
    by Reina G, Das TK, Quaglia G, et al. on July 21, 2021 at 12:00 am

    Inspired by the fifth-year anniversary celebration of the homonymous symposium at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE), this Special Section with ten articles shares the latest research efforts in design, theory, development, and applications for mobile robots and unmanned ground vehicles.

A New Extensible Continuum Manipulator Using Flexible Parallel Mechanism and Rigid Motion Transmission

Abstract

An extensible continuum manipulator (ECM) has specific advantages over its nonextensible counterparts. For instance, in certain applications, such as minimally invasive surgery or pipe inspection, the base motion might be limited or disallowed. The additional extensibility provides the robot with more dexterous manipulation and a larger workspace. Existing continuum robot designs achieve extensibility mainly through artificial muscle/pneumatic, extensible backbone, concentric tube, and base extension, etc. This article proposes a new way to achieve this additional motion degree-of-freedom by taking advantage of the rigid coupling hybrid mechanism concept and a flexible parallel mechanism. More specifically, a rack and pinion set is used to transmit the motion of the i-th subsegment to drive the (i+1)-th subsegment. A six-chain flexible parallel mechanism is used to generate the desired spatial bending and one extension mobility for each subsegment. This way, the new manipulator can achieve tail-like spatial bending and worm-like extension at the same time. Simplified kinematic analyses are conducted to estimate the workspace and the motion nonuniformity. A proof-of-concept prototype was integrated to verify the mechanism’s mobility and to evaluate the kinematic model accuracy. The results show that the proposed mechanism achieved the desired mobilities with a maximum extension ratio of 32.2% and a maximum bending angle of 80 deg.
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