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.

Reliability-Based Analysis and Optimization of the Gravity Balancing Performance of Spring-Articulated Serial Robots With Uncertainties


This article proposes a method for analyzing the gravity balancing reliability of spring-articulated serial robots with uncertainties. Gravity balancing reliability is defined as the probability that the torque reduction ratio (the ratio of the balanced torque to the unbalanced torque) is less than a specified threshold. In this paper, the reliability analysis is performed by exploiting a Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) with consideration of the uncertainties in the link dimensions, masses, and compliance parameters. A reliability-based design optimization (RBDO) method is also developed to seek reliable spring setting parameters for maximized balancing performance under a prescribed uncertainty level. The RBDO is formulated with consideration of a probabilistic reliability constraint and solved by using a particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the gravity balancing performance and reliability of a robot with uncertainties. A sensitivity analysis of the balancing design is also performed. Lastly, the effectiveness of the RBDO method is demonstrated through a case study in which the balancing performance and reliability of a robot with uncertainties are improved with the proposed method.

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