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 Variable Stiffness Sole for Biped Robot and Its Experimental Verification


The foot sole of the biped robot is an important factor for stable walking. In this study, the limitations of existing bipedal robot soles are introduced and the necessity for the development of a new sole mechanism is presented. Inspired by a robot sole based on the granular jamming effect, we have developed a variable stiffness sole (VSS), which adapts to the shape of obstacles on the ground in compliant mode and provides robust support in stiff mode. Finally, the performance of the VSS is verified by several experiments integrating the VSS with the real humanoid robot platform RoK-3. The experimental results verified that the VSS is advantageous in uneven terrain walking.

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