University of Twente Student Theses


Design and Development of a Magnetic Non-linear Elastic Element and Control for Progressive Series Actuation

Okken, Boi (2021) Design and Development of a Magnetic Non-linear Elastic Element and Control for Progressive Series Actuation.

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Abstract:Stiff links between actuator and load are common in robotics for high position control bandwidth, but are unsafe in interaction with humans. Series elastic actuators were developed to deal with this issue, providing a compromise between performance and safety metrics. The series elasticity decouples the motor dynamics from the load, limits mechanical bandwidth, provides convenient force measurement and can be used as energy storage. Non-linear series actuation tackle the safety versus performance compromise, offering the safety and torque resolution of low stiffness actuators, with the increased bandwidth of high-stiffness actuators. In this work, a novel way of generating progressive stiffness is presented using material properties, namely with the use of magnets. This involves a parametric investigation, presentation of a model, and finally the theory is made into reality with a practical proof-of-concept prototype magnet-based series elastic element. The element is characterized and compared against the model to verify performance and model accuracy. Elastic actuators require a control system, and most often used are traditional linear control systems. These however can not take full advantage of the NSEA advantages. A gain-scheduled approach is presented to better exploit the advantages of a NSEA and provide improved control performance compared to linear control.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:50 technical science in general, 51 materials science, 52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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