In recent years, the demand for robot joint compliance increased with more complex human–robot interaction scenarios. Series elastic actuators (SEAs) are extensively utilized in multiple fields with abilities to provide accurate force control and energy storage. As the main flexible component in SEA, the accurate modeling of the stiffness of the elastic element is essential. However, the existing stiffness models based on classical Euler–Bernoulli beam theory contain large errors with the actual situation, which increases the difficulty of design. In this paper, a typical elastic element is analyzed by the finite element method to investigate its stiffness properties with different geometric parameters. A more accurate stiffness model is proposed for designing elastic elements. The stiffness model is validated by designed experiments, with a fitting accuracy of 98.27%, which significantly exceeds the stiffness model based on classical beam theory. The proposed stiffness model can be applied to design elastic elements that meet specific stiffness requirements.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues