Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Mechanical Characterization of Supernumerary Robotic Tails for Human Balance Augmentation
    on August 31, 2023 at 12:00 am

    AbstractHumans are intrinsically unstable in quiet stance from a rigid body system viewpoint; however, they maintain balance, thanks to neuro-muscular sensory control properties. With increasing levels of balance related incidents in industrial and ageing populations globally each year, the development of assistive mechanisms to augment human balance is paramount. This work investigates the mechanical characteristics of kinematically dissimilar one and two degrees-of-freedom (DoF) supernumerary robotic tails for balance augmentation. Through dynamic simulations and manipulability assessments, the importance of variable coupling inertia in creating a sufficient reaction torque is highlighted. It is shown that two-DoF tails with solely revolute joints are best suited to address the balance augmentation issue. Within the two-DoF options, the characteristics of open versus closed loop tails are investigated, with the ultimate design selection requiring trade-offs between environmental workspace, biomechanical factors, and manufacturing ease to be made.

Double-Layer Deployable Mechanical Network Constructed of Threefold-Symmetric Bricard Linkages and Sarrus Linkages


Threefold-symmetric (TFS) Bricard linkages are known for their excellent deployment performance properties. This paper proposes a novel networking method of TFS Bricard linkages and a double-layer mechanical network. First, the angle relationship for parts of the TFS Bricard linkage is analyzed. Then, the angle relationship of two TFS Bricard linkages connected by a scissor mechanism is studied. The result suggests that when the twist angles of the two TFS Bricard linkages are equal, their corresponding planes are parallel, and the link lengths have no effect on the parallel relationship. A novel networking method of the TFS Bricard linkage is recommended according to these results. This mechanical network is constructed of two different sized units and can be plane deployed and be folded with a smaller height. We also propose a hybrid linkage constructed of the TFS Bricard linkage and Sarrus linkage. Two kinds of double-layer mechanical networks are suggested by applying the hybrid linkage to a smaller unit in the mechanical network and using the hybrid linkage as the interlayer pillar. The new networking method and the double-layer mechanical network provide convenience for the TFS Bricard linkage’s engineering application.
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