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Proceedings Paper

Series Elastic Actuators for legged robots
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Paper Abstract

Series Elastic Actuators provide many benefits in force control of robots in unconstrained environments. These benefits include high force fidelity, extremely low impedance, low friction, and good force control bandwidth. Series Elastic Actuators employ a novel mechanical design architecture which goes against the common machine design principal of "stiffer is better." A compliant element is placed between the gear train and driven load to intentionally reduce the stiffness of the actuator. A position sensor measures the deflection, and the force output is accurately calculated using Hooke’s Law (F=Kx). A control loop then servos the actuator to the desired output force. The resulting actuator has inherent shock tolerance, high force fidelity and extremely low impedance. These characteristics are desirable in many applications including legged robots, exoskeletons for human performance amplification, robotic arms, haptic interfaces, and adaptive suspensions. We describe several variations of Series Elastic Actuators that have been developed using both electric and hydraulic components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 September 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5422, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VI, (2 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548000
Show Author Affiliations
Jerry E. Pratt, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)
Benjamin T. Krupp, Yobotics, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5422:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VI
Grant R. Gerhart; Chuck M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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