In this paper, we introduce a new type of spatial parallel robot that is comprised of soft inflatable constraints called trichamber actuators (TCAs). We extend the principles of the freedom and constraint topologies (FACT) synthesis approach to enable the synthesis and analysis of this new type of soft robot. The concepts of passive and active freedom spaces are introduced and applied to the design of general parallel systems that consist of active constraints (i.e., constraint that can be actuated to impart various loads onto the system's stage) that both drive desired motions and guide the system's desired degrees of freedom (DOFs). We provide the fabrication details of the TCA constraints introduced in this paper and experimentally determine their appropriate FACT-based constraint model. We fabricate a soft parallel robot that consists of three TCA constraints and verify and validate its FACT-predicted performance using finite element analysis (FEA) and experimental data. Other such soft robots are synthesized using FACT as case studies.
Synthesis and Analysis of Soft Parallel Robots Comprised of Active Constraints
Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received September 24, 2014; final manuscript received December 2, 2014; published online December 31, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Carl Nelson.
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Hopkins, J. B., Rivera, J., Kim, C., and Krishnan, G. (February 1, 2015). "Synthesis and Analysis of Soft Parallel Robots Comprised of Active Constraints." ASME. J. Mechanisms Robotics. February 2015; 7(1): 011002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4029324
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