This article presents a novel architecture for the actuation and transmission system of a 5-degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) compliant robot manipulator. The compliant behavior of the robot is achieved using inherently compliant magneto-rheological (MR) clutches introduced in antagonistic pairs in every joint of the manipulator. All five antagonistic MR clutch pairs are driven using a single brushless DC motor located in the base of the robot. The MR clutch pairs are coupled to the motor through a system of shafts, belts, and gears. Several possible architectures for realizing a suitable drive train are presented, and the advantages and disadvantages of each concept are analyzed. The most efficient architecture for the drive train is selected to complete the design of the manipulator. The kinematics of the manipulator using the adopted architecture is further analyzed, and the workspace of the system is presented. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first 5-DOF, fully actuated, compliant robotic manipulator that uses a single DC motor to achieve five independent axes of rotations.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues