Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received October 2000; revised March 2002. Associate Editor: S. K. Agrawal.

Rack-and-pinion transmissions are broadly accepted means of power transmission between a rotating motor and a translating load. Their technology is well established within the framework of gearing 1. For decades, this transmission went unchallenged, that is, until the advent of highly accurate manufacturing processes that gave rise to more accurate, smoother, and more reliable alternatives, such as ball screws and linear actuators. In robotics and mechatronics applications, whereby motion is controlled using a piece of software, the conversion of motion from rotational to translational is usually done by alternative means. Of these alternatives, ball screws are gaining popularity, one of their drawbacks being the high number of moving parts that they comprise, for their functioning...

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