Flexible Robotic Arm with Hydrostatic Skeleton Driving Mechanism

D. Maruyama, S. Suzuki, H. Kimura, and N. Inou (Japan)


Hydrostatic skeleton, Flexible mechanism, Fluid power, Robotic arm, Nonlinear FEA, Robot design and architecture


This study aims to establish a design method of flexible mechanism with numerical analyses of flexible parts. We propose a new flexible mechanical system by use of a driving mechanism of hydrostatic skeleton. This system mainly consists of “structure bags” as structural parts and “actuator bags” as actuators. The system provides various advantages, e.g. safety, lightweight, portability and simple control for grasping a fragile object. This study tries to build a numerical model of the proposed system. The numerical analysis has difficulty due to a nonlinear mechanical property of flexible material. To solve this problem, we use nonlinear FEA software ABAQUS. The deformation and driving force of an actuator bag are estimated with the software. The deformation of a structure bag is also calculated. These FEA results are verified by elemental experiments with respect to the actuator bag and the structure bag. Based on these results, a flexible robotic arm is also discussed. Behavior of the arm is estimated by the kinematics and FEA results. Validity of the estimation is examined by a load lifting motion of the prototype robotic arm.

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