Abstract

A review of current variable-stiffness actuators reveals a need for more simple, cost effective, and lightweight designs that can be easily incorporated into a variety of human-interactive robot platforms. This thesis considers the potential use of compliant mechanisms to improve the performance of variable-stiffness actuators. The advantages and disadvantages of various concepts using compliant mechanisms are outlined, along with ideas for further exploration. A new variable-stiffness actuator that uses a compliant flexure as the elastic element has been modeled, built, and tested. This new design involves a variable stiffness joint that makes use of a novel variable transmission. A prototype has been built and tested to verify agreement with the model which shows a reasonable range of stiffness and good repeatability. Ideas for further exploration are identified.

Degree

MS

College and Department

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

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2015-04-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etdm920

Language

english

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