Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1942-4302 / 1942-4310
Published by: ASME International (10.1115)
Total articles ≅ 1,248
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Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-12;

Cognate linkages provide the useful property in mechanism design of having the same motion. This paper describes an approach for determining all coupler curve cognates for planar linkages with rotational joints. Although a prior compilation of six-bar cognates due to Dijksman purported to be a complete list, that analysis assumed, without proof, that cognates only arise by permuting link rotations. Our approach eliminates that assumption using arguments concerning the singular foci of the coupler curve to constrain a cognate search and then completing the analysis by solving a precision point problem. This analysis confirms that Dijksman's list for six-bars is comprehensive. As we further demonstrate on an eight-bar and a ten-bar example, the method greatly constrains the set of permutations of link rotations that can possibly lead to cognates, thereby facilitating the discovery of all cognates that arise in that manner. However, for these higher order linkages, the further step of using a precision point test to eliminate the possibility of any other cognates is still beyond our computational capabilities.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-13;

This paper introduces a classification of the inverse kinematics solutions (or robot postures) of six-degree-of-freedom serial robots with a geometry based on or similar to Universal Robots' arms. The solution of the inverse kinematics problem is first presented briefly and the equations required to classify the robot postures(branches) based on the joint coordinates are then introduced.
Qian Zhang, Yuanyuan Li, , ,
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-12;

Folding responses of a set of notch-type compliant joint candidates are first numerically explored before the victorious one is implemented in actuating the deployment of Miura origami-inspired plate structure. The considered notch-type compliant joints are groove, elliptical holes, rectangular holes, and outside LET types. The exploration and examination of the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of these joints include performance indicators such as stress contour, load-deformation, moment-angle, and stiffness-angle relationships for different geometric parameters, with a specific interest in their hysteretic behaviors. Considering various performance features, the groove joints have been identified as the most suitable to be employed as the Miura origami-inspired hinge. The Miura origami-inspired plate folding behaviors are further explored considering various numbers and placements of groove joints. It has been found that the Miura plate performs better with the groove joint compared to that without one and that the single and double groove joint modes are inter-correlated. The study offers a comprehensive understanding of the effects of geometrical variation of numerous compliant joints on the folding behaviors as well as the further implementation of the victorious one in actuating the deployment of the Miura origami-inspired plate structure in accordance with the number and location of the joint.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-16;

With over 30 million people worldwide requiring assistive devices, there is a great need for affordable prosthetic technologies that can enable kinematics close to able-bodied gait. Passive prosthetic knees designed for low-income users have primarily focused on stability and affordability, often at the cost of the high biomechanical performance that is required to replicate able-bodied kinematics. We present the design and preliminary testing of two distinct mechanisms that are novel for passive prosthetic knee applications: the stability module and the damping module. These mechanisms are designed to enable users of single-axis, passive prostheses to walk with close to able-bodied kinematics on level-ground, specifically during the transition from the stance phase to the swing phase of the gait cycle. The stability module was implemented with a latch mounted on a virtual axis of a four-bar linkage, which can be engaged during early stance for stability and disengaged during late stance to initiate knee flexion. The damping module was implemented with a concentric stack of stationary and rotating pairs of plates that shear thin films of high-viscosity silicone oil. For preliminary user-centric validation, a prototype prosthetic knee with the stability module and two dampers (with varying damping coefficients) was tested on a single participant. The stability module enabled smooth transition from stance to swing with timely initiation of knee flexion. An increase in the damping coefficient was found to decrease the peak knee flexion close to the able-bodied range (58-70 deg).
Amin Lotfiani, , Zhufeng Shao, Xili Yi
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, Volume 14, pp 1-1;

Silicone-based pneumatic actuators are among the most widely used soft actuators in adaptable fingers. However, due to the soft nature of silicone, the performance of these fingers is highly affected by the low torsional stiffness, which may cause failure in grasping and manipulation. To address this problem, a compact design is proposed by embedding a rigid skeleton into a soft pneumatic finger. A finite element approach with an analytical model is used to evaluate the performance of the fingers both with and without the skeleton. Then, a series of experiments is performed to study the bending motion and rigidity of the fingers. The results reveal that the skeleton increases the torsional stiffness of the finger up to 300%. Furthermore, the consistency with the experimental data indicates the good precision of the proposed modeling method. Finally, a two-finger hand is designed to evaluate the performance of the reinforced finger in reality. The grasp experiments illustrate that the hybrid finger with the skeleton is highly adaptable and can successfully grasp and manipulate heavy objects. Thus, a potential approach is proposed to improve the torsional stiffness of silicone-based pneumatic fingers while maintaining adaptability.
Shaoping Bai, ,
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, Volume 14, pp 1-14;

This article addresses the path synthesis of RCCC (revolute-cylindrical-cylindrical-cylindrical) linkages, a problem that has not received due attention in the literature. Compared with planar and spherical four-bar linkages, a RCCC linkage has many more design parameters, which lead to a complex formulation of the path synthesis problem and, consequently, to a quite challenging system of algebraic equations. In this article, the problem is solved with a novel formulation of path synthesis for visiting a number of prescribed positions. This is achieved by means of an alternative coordinate system, which allows point coordinates to be expressed with the aid of two vectors fixed to the same body. By this means, the rotation matrix used to represent the coupler link attitude is obviated. The synthesis equations are then formulated in a simple form. Our formulation confirms that path synthesis admits exact solutions for up to nine prescribed positions, which proves a landmark claim submitted by Burmester. Examples are included to demonstrate the path synthesis procedure with the method thus developed.
Keith Seffen
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-12;

We present a novel, rigidly folding vertex inspired by the shape of the simplest hanging drape. Fold lines in the vertex correspond to pleats and ridges in the drape, and are symmetrically arranged to enable synchronised at folding of facet pairs. We calculate the folded rotation angles exactly using a spherical image specialised for inextensible vertex folding. We show that the vertex shape is bounded by a pair of conical surfaces whose apex semi-angles directly correspond with fold-line rotations, which expresses a geometrical equivalence between the external shape and internal folding motion of the vertex. We discuss how the vertex viz. drape perform as a novel type of conical defect based on its spherical image topography; and we highlight the meaning of bistable behaviour for the vertex, in analytical- and practical terms.
Bangxiang Chen, , , , Weiliang Xu
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, Volume 14, pp 1-28;

Assessing the food texture via mastication is important for advancing knowledge of food properties so as to develop favorable and healthy food products. Oral processing of food by robots can enable an in vitro assessment of food texture by simulating human mastication objectively. In this study, a chewing robot is developed to mimic the rhythmic motion of the molars to enable controllable chewing kinematics and a biomimetic oral environment. The robotic chewing is realized using a 3 degree-of-freedom (DOF) linkage mechanism, which recreates the molar grinding movement based on molar trajectories and chewing cycle durations previously reported in the literature. Moreover, a soft pneumatically actuated cavity is developed to provide a space to contain and reposition the food between occlusions. To regulate the robotic chewing having variable molar trajectories and chewing durations, the mathematical relationship of the linkage’s actuators and molar movements is investigated for the purpose of motion analysis and control. Accordingly, the design of the robot in terms of linkage, oral cavity, and mechatronics system is performed. The built robot is validated by tracing a planned variable molar trajectory while chewing peanuts. The performance of robot chewing is validated by demonstrating the ability of the robot to chew the peanuts similar to that by human through comparison of peanut particle size distributions (PSDs) and particle median size diameters.
Yuhan Ji, Weihai Chen, , Zhongyi Li, , Guilin Yang
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, Volume 14, pp 1-25;

The upper limb rehabilitation exoskeleton with cable-driven parallel structure has the advantages of light weight and large payload, etc. However, due to the non-rigid nature of the actuating cables and the different body shape of the wearer, the geometric parameters of the exoskeleton have a large error. The parameter identification of cable-driven exoskeleton is of great significance. An asynchronous self-identification method for the upper limb seven degree-of-freedom (DOF) cable-driven exoskeleton was proposed and used in a wearable multi-redundant exoskeleton. Asynchronous iteration eliminates the accumulation of joint errors. High identification reliability is achieved by selecting proper identification parameters and optimizing error model.With the method, the geometric parameters of the exoskeleton can be identified by using exoskeleton joint angle and cable length data. The experiment verifies that the success rate of parameter identification for different wearers is in line with expectations, and the control precision and stability of the prototype are greatly improved after parameter identification.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics pp 1-20;

Exploring the locomotion of creatures is a challenging task in bionic robots, and the existing iterative design methods are mainly based on one or two characteristics to optimize robots. However, it is hard to obtain other features. Here, we introduced the thinking of system identification theory to the bionic robots, averting the exploration of the dynamics and reducing the difficulty of design greatly. A one-DOF six-bar mechanism (Watt I) was designated as the model to be identified, and it was divided into two parts, i.e. a one-DOF four-bar linkage and a three-DOF series arm. Then we formed constraints and a loss function. The parameters of the model were identified based on the kinematic data of a marmoset jumping. As a result, we obtained the desired model. Then, a prototype derived from the model was fabricated, and the experiments verified the effectiveness of the method. Our method also can be applied to other motion simulation scenarios.
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