Design of haptic devices requires trade-off between many conflicting requirements, such as high stiffness, large workspace, small inertia, low actuator force/torque, and a small size of the device. With the traditional design and optimization process, it is difficult to effectively fulfill the system requirements by separately treating the different discipline domains. To solve this problem and to avoid sub-optimization, this work proposes a design methodology, based on Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) methods and tools, for design optimization of six degree-of-freedom (DOF) haptic devices for medical applications, e.g. simulators for surgeon and dentist training or for remote surgery.
The proposed model-based and simulation-driven methodology aims to enable different disciplines and subsystems to be included in the haptic device optimization process by using a robust model architecture that integrates discipline-specific models in an optimization framework and thus enables automation of design activities in the concept and detail design phase. Because of the multi-criteria character of the performance requirements, multi-objective optimization is included as part of the proposed methodology. Because of the high-level requirements on haptic devices for medical applications in combination with a complex structure, models such as CAD (Computer Aided Design), CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), and kinematic models are considered to be integrated in the optimization process and presenting a systems view to the design engineers. An integration tool for MDO is used as framework to manage, integrate, and execute the optimization process.
A case study of a 6-DOF haptic device based on a TAU structure is used to illustrate the proposed methodology. With this specific case, a Multi-objective Genetic Algorithm (MOGA) with an initial population based on a pseudo random SOBOL sequence and Monte Carlo samplings is used for the optimization.