Eco-design of robots has almost never be en explored in the past. This work investigates the potential of using bio-sourced materials, which have almost no environmental impact, instead of metals for robot design. Also, wood is one of the best candidates because of its interesting mechanical properties. However, wood performance / dimensions vary with the atmospheric conditions / external solicitations. Thus, it is challenging to design a stiff and accurate wooden industrial robot.
Therefore, the objective of this paper is to describe a new design methodology leading to the design a wooden five-bar mechanism reliable in terms of accuracy and stiffness. The design optimization problem is solved in cascade. The first optimization process proposes to use a control-based design approach in order to compute the optimal primary geometric parameters of the robot (lengths of the links). This approach takes into account the sensor-based controller performance during the design phase. The second optimization process deals with the issue of the variability of the wood mechanical performance. It is based on a reliable topology optimization approach and allows for finding the shape of the robot links for which the impact of this variability in terms of deformation is minimized. Theoretical developments are described, solved and the obtained results allowed the prototyping of an industrial wooden five-bar mechanism.