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.

A Boundary Computation Algorithm for the Workspace Evaluation of Continuum Parallel Robots


In this article, a new algorithm for the computation of workspace boundaries of continuum parallel robots (CPRs) is proposed. State-of-the-art techniques are mainly based on time-consuming joint space discretization approaches or task-space discretization algorithms, and only a few approaches are dedicated to the computation of workspace boundaries. The proposed approach for the computation of the workspace boundaries is based on (i) a free-space exploration strategy and (ii) a boundary reconstruction algorithm. The former is exploited to identify an initial workspace boundary location (exterior, interior boundaries, and holes), while the latter is used to reconstruct the complete boundary surface. Moreover, the algorithm is designed to be employed with CPR modeling strategies based on general discretization assumptions, in order to increase its applicability for various scopes. Our method is compared with two state-of-the-art algorithms in four cases studies, to validate the results and to establish its merits and limitations.

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