A Novel Mechanically Overdamped Actuator with Adjustable Stiffness (MOD-AwAS) for Safe Interaction and Accurate Positioning
This paper presents the design and development of a novel mechanically overdamped actuator with adjustable stiffness (MOD-AwAS). The novelty of MOD-AwAS compared to other variable stiffness actuators relates to its mechanical design, which prevents oscillations at the output link. Almost all variable stiffness actuators have an overshooting problem that require a sophisticated control algorithm to be able to perform accurate positioning. MOD-AwAS can regulate the stiffness from zero to its maximum (theoretically infinite) in less than 0.2 s by changing the position of the pivot point of its lever mechanisms. MOD-AwAS employs only one rotational spring with no pre-deflection, which gives it full accessibility to its energy storage capacity. Experimental results are presented to show the ability of MOD-AwAS to control its position accurately with a wide range of stiffness adjustment.