Variable stiffness elements (VSE) or variable springs have wide applications in vibration control systems and robotics. In this work, the concept of a new VSE is introduced and the criteria for the design are explained. The new VSE is based on a special case of cable-driven mechanisms at a singular configuration and is called antagonistic variable stiffness element (AVSE). Singularity of the mechanism provides interesting characteristics for the AVSE such as zero elastic (passive) stiffness and fully controllable stiffness along the infinitesimal flex. Based on the given criteria, the possible configurations of the AVSE are found.

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