The paper presents the development of a novel type of drum brake capable of locking a joint exploiting the effect of self excitation characteristic of this type of brake. A theoretical analysis based on the Reye assumption on wear is first presented, were conditions for self excitement are determined. An initial version of the brake was designed and tested, but it was soon discovered that actuation with solenoids was not appropriate. A second version was then developed where solenoids were replaced by a small motor and reducer placed inside the brake itself, but the resulting drum was too big for the application. Finally a version were the motor and reducer were placed outside the drum was designed. An ad hoc experimental test bed was built using a Maxon motor to control rotation and toque of the drum and to allow an initial wear of the ferodo in order to obtain compliant surfaces. Finally an electronic control of the brakes has been developed.

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