Conventional multi-body mechanisms used in robotics and automated machinery can have limited motion due to the bearing and transmission parts. Replacing a traditional bearing joint with a compact deformable structure (flexure coupling) can improve the performance envelope for a mechanism. A dynamic nonlinear mathematical model is derived for a mechanism comprising a flexure coupling, which can undergo large deformations, connected to a rigid link. Direct actuation of the mechanism is assumed in three directions and an open-loop control methodology is designed to regulate the actuation forces to achieve a prescribed path with precise and repeatable small scale motion. A mechanism containing a flexure coupling is examined and compared to that of an ideal hinge joint. The results show that a flexure coupling allows an increased range of motion for the mechanism compared to a hinge coupling and can have multiple paths in the x and y direction for a prescribed angle trajectory at the end of the mechanism.

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