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Modular hybrid robots with biologically inspired actuators and joint stiffness control

: Surdilovic, D.; Radojicic, J.; Schulze, M.; Dembek, M.


IEEE Robotics and Automation Society; IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society -EMBS-:
2nd IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BioRob 2008 : 19-22 Oct. 2008, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
New York, NY: IEEE, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4244-2882-3
International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob) <2, 2008, Scottsdale/Ariz.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPK ()

The paper considers a novel modular and intrinsically safe redundant robotic system with biologically inspired actuators (pneumatic artificial muscles and rubber bellows actuators). Similarly to the biological systems, the internal module (i.e. robot joint) stiffness is controlled by co-activation of opposing redundant actuator groups in the null-space of the module Jacobian, without influencing the actual robot position. The decoupled position/stiffness control allows the realization of variable joint stiffness according to different force-displacement relationships. The initial experiments with the system prototype demonstrate the capabilities of independently, simultaneously controlling both joint (Cartesian) motion and joint stiffness. The paper also presents the possible industrial applications of snake-like robots built using the new modules.