Large deformation of flexure couplings for robotic arm joints

Nicola Bailey, Christopher Lusty, Patrick Keogh

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Conventional multi-body mechanisms used in robotics and automated machinery can have limited motion due to the bearing and transmission parts. Replacing a traditional bearing joint with a compact deformable structure (flexure coupling) can improve the performance envelope for a mechanism. A dynamic nonlinear mathematical model is derived for a mechanism comprising a flexure coupling, which can undergo large deformations, connected to a rigid link. Direct actuation of the mechanism is assumed in three directions and an open-loop control methodology is designed to regulate the actuation forces to achieve a prescribed path with precise and repeatable small scale motion. A mechanism containing a flexure coupling is examined and compared to that of an ideal hinge joint. The results show that a flexure coupling allows an increased range of motion for the mechanism compared to a hinge coupling and can have multiple paths in the x and y direction for a prescribed angle trajectory at the end of the mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Place of PublicationTampa, Florida
Number of pages9
VolumeVolume 4B: Dynamics, Vibration, and Control
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017


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