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.

Joint Special Issue: Design and Control of Responsive Robots

Robots are complex controlled dynamical systems interacting with their environment. Agile robotic systems have been penetrating almost all industrial sectors as the backbone for industrial automation, ranging from heavy duty manipulators to collaborative robots (cobots) and mobile platforms for logistics tasks. Currently, autonomous vehicles (e.g., cars, mobile delivery systems, drones, inspection, and maintenance) are entering the public sector, but also the use of surgical robots is becoming an integral part of medical treatments. In a foreseeable future, assistive robots for domestic use will become indispensable for caretaking and as exoskeletal devices providing physical support thus physically interacting with humans. Future robots need to be responsive; they must (inter)act safely, minimize the use of resources (energy, material, process-, development-, and commissioning-time), and adapt to variations in demands and environmental conditions.

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