A Novel Triad Twisted String Actuator for Controlling a Two Degrees of Freedom Joint: Design and Experimental Validation

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Abstract

Actuated universal joints, or equivalent joint systems, are found in a number of robotic applications, in particular mobile snake robots, continuum robots and robotic tails. These joints have two degrees of freedom on two axes, each perpendicular to a third axis and to themselves. Such joints use a variety of actuation methods, including direct drive motors, linear screw drives, cable based systems, and hydraulics/pneumatics. In this paper the authors design and validate a mechanism that uses the Twisted String Actuator (TSA) in an antagonistic triad to actuate the universal joint, using orientation sensors and load cells to create a robust cascading closed loop control system. This results in a light, compact, high-performance actuation system that avoids the extra mass and hardware complexity that alternative actuation methods present, with the additional challenge of nonlinearity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2022

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