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Proceedings Paper

Electrorheological clutches for a robotics application: dynamic, operational, and control considerations
Author(s): Andrew R. Johnson; Roger Stanway; Kim Piew Tan; Neil D. Sims
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Paper Abstract

There is much current interest in the development of smart fluid clutches for use in the design of high-speed machinery. This interest stems from the flexibility, controllability and fast response of such fluids. In this paper the authors outline the modifications to an Electro-rheological clutch mechanism for a robotics application. The clutch mechanism consists of twin ER clutches that are driven in opposite directions. By controlling the electric field applied to each clutch it is possible to cause a toothed belt to move in a desired manner in each direction. This belt motion can then be used to control the motion of a robot arm via a gear train. To improve the positional performance an ER brake is added to the robot arm mechanism. The extension to the dynamic model for the ER clutch mechanism to incorporate the robot arm and ER brake is outlined and is validated experimentally. The displacement response of the robot arm is then examined as a trend study using different motor driving speeds and load inertias. The positional accuracy of the robot arm and its repeatability is then demonstrated over a significant number of reciprocating tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5056, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (5 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.483504
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew R. Johnson, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Roger Stanway, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Kim Piew Tan, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Neil D. Sims, Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5056:
Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Amr M. Baz, Editor(s)

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