Haptic interfaces are robotic force-feedback devices that give the user a sense of touch as they interact with virtual or remote environments. These interfaces act as input devices, mapping the 3-dimensional (3D) motions of the user's hand into 3D motions in a slave system or simulated virtual world. A major challenge in haptic interfaces is ensuring that the user's experience is a realistic depiction of the simulated environment. This requires the interface's design to be such that it does not hinder the user's ability to feel the forces present in the environment. This "transparency" is achieved by minimizing the device's physical properties (e.g., weight, inertia, friction). The primary objective of the work is to utilize compliant mechanisms as a means to improve transparency of a haptic interface. This thesis presents work toward the design of a fully compliant mechanism that can be utilized in haptic interfaces as a means to reduce parasitic forces. The approach taken in this work is to design a series of mechanisms that when combined act as a statically balanced compliant joint (SBCJ). Simulated and experimental results show that the methods presented here result in a joint that displays a significant decrease in return-to-home behavior typically observed in compliant mechanisms. This reduction in the torque needed to displace the joint and the absence of friction suggest that the joint design is conducive to the methods previously proposed for increasing transparency in haptic interfaces.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





compliant mechanisms, static balancing, haptics, prescribed spring deflections, pseudo-rigid-body model