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.

Development of a Three-Mobile-Robot System for Cooperative Transportation


The transportation of large-scale objects in a narrow space is a challenging, but useful application for mobile robots. We have developed a three-mobile-robot system to cooperatively lift, support, and transport a large object on a mobile robot system. To facilitate the manipulation involved with loading an object onto the robots, where the robots must maintain firm contact with the object and anchor at its location, we designed an adaptable mechanism for the object-loading platform and a liftable brake to ensure that the robot remains stationary when necessary. Furthermore, each robot is designed to act as an omnidirectional wheel; therefore, all three robots can work as an omnidirectional block when collectively loading an object. The kinematic constraints of the object–robot system and forward kinematics of the robots’ cooperative motion are proposed, and experiments are conducted to confirm the designed mechanisms and confirm that the robots can load an object and cooperatively transport it along the expected trajectory.

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