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.

Miniature Continuum Manipulator With Three Degrees-of-Freedom Force Sensing for Retinal Microsurgery

Abstract

Retinal microsurgery requires the precise manipulation of delicate tissue in the interior of the eye. Smart surgical instruments with dexterous tip and force sensing capabilities can permit surgeons to perform more flexible surgical procedures and obtain imperceptible force information, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of microsurgery. In this study, we present an intraocular continuum manipulator with three degrees-of-freedom (DOF) force sensing capabilities. A contact-aided compliant mechanism based on cutting superelastic Nitinol tubes is used to provide high dexterity. It enables two rotational DOFs at the distal end of the manipulator. Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) fibers are used to provide high-resolution force measurements. Moreover, a novel Nitinol flexure was designed to achieve high axial force sensitivity. The experimental results show that the maximum bending angle of the dexterous tip is more than ±45 deg for each DOF with high repeatability. In addition, the experimental results demonstrate that the proposed force sensor can provide sub-millinewton resolution. The manipulator has also been validated with an artificial eye model, demonstrating the potential clinical value of the manipulator for retinal microsurgery.
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