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.

Design, Dimensional Synthesis and Evaluation of a Novel Two-Degrees-of-Freedom Spherical Remote Center of Motion Mechanism for Minimally Invasive Surgery


With the development of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) technology, higher requirements are put forward for the performance of remote center of motion (RCM) manipulator. This paper presents the conceptual design of a novel two-degrees-of-freedom (2-DOF) spherical RCM mechanism, whose axes of all revote joints share the same RCM. Compared with the existing design, the proposed mechanism indicates a compact design and high structure stability, and the same scissor-like linkage makes it easy to realize modular design. It also has the advantages of singularity-free and motion decoupling in its workspace, which simplifies the implementation and control of the manipulator. In addition, compared with the traditional spherical scissor linkage mechanism, the proposed mechanism adds a rotation constraint on the output shaft to provide better operating performance. In this paper, the kinematics and singularities of different cases are deduced and compared, and the kinematic model of the best case is established. According to the workspace and constraints in MIS, the optimal structural parameters of the mechanism are determined by dimensional synthesis with the goal of optimal global operation performance. Furthermore, a prototype is assembled to verify the performance of the proposed mechanism. The experimental results show that the two-degrees-of-freedom prototype can provide a reliable RCM point. The compact design makes the manipulator have potential application prospects in MIS.

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