This paper proposes a new technique to improve the current collection performance of pantographs. For this purpose, the pan springs, which are usually coil springs, are replaced with variable stiffness devices. The device described in this paper is comprised of two air springs facing each other. This paper firstly outlines the method for the improvement for current collection performance and exhibits some numerical simulation results, which supports the efficacy of the method. It then presents the prototype of the variable stiffness device and shows its basic characteristics. Finally, it shows the experimental results of the dynamic characteristics control of a pantograph using the variable stiffness devices.

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