Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

    Topology Optimization of a Compliant Constant-Force End Effector for Robotic Operations Over Uneven Surfaces

    Abstract

    A compliant constant-force mechanism (CCFM) is a specific type of compliant mechanism that serves as a passive force regulation device. When subjected to a load, it undergoes deformation, resulting in an almost consistent output force regardless of changes in input displacement. Traditional methods used to design CCFMs typically rely on either stiffness combination or parametric optimization based on existing design configurations. To enable the direct synthesis of CCFMs according to desired boundary conditions, this study proposes a systematic topology optimization method. This method includes a new morphology-based scheme designed to ensure the connectivity of the topological results, thereby achieving this objective. Using this approach, a CCFM suitable for end effector applications is designed and manufactured through 3D printing. Four of these CCFMs are then utilized to create an innovative compliant constant-force end effector for robotic operations on uneven surfaces. The experimental results demonstrate that the presented design achieves output force modulation through elastic deformation, eliminating the need for additional sensors and controllers to regulate the output force. The presented design can be mounted on a robotic arm to provide overload protection and maintain a consistent force output during operation when encountering irregular and uneven surfaces.

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    Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues