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.

Design, Modeling, and Manufacturing of a Variable Lateral Stiffness Arm Via Shape Morphing Mechanisms


In this article, we present a continuously tunable stiffness arm for safe physical human–robot interactions. Compliant joints and compliant links are two typical solutions to address safety issues for physical human–robot interactions via introducing mechanical compliance to robotic systems. While extensive studies explore variable stiffness joints/actuators, variable stiffness links for safe physical human–robot interactions are much less studied. This article details the design and modeling of a compliant robotic arm whose stiffness can be continuously tuned via cable-driven mechanisms actuated by a single servo motor. Specifically, a 3D-printed compliant robotic arm is prototyped and tested by static experiments, and an analytical model of the variable stiffness arm is derived and validated by testing. The results show that the lateral stiffness of the robot arm can achieve a variety of 221.26% given a morphing angle of 90 deg. The variable stiffness arm design developed in this study could be a promising approach to address safety concerns for safe physical human–robot interactions.
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