JRM Vol.34 No.6 pp. 1225-1232
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2022.p1225


Compact Variable Stiffness Actuator for Surgical Robots

Toshiro Osaka, Kenichiro Seto, D. S. V. Bandara, Hirofumi Nogami, and Jumpei Arata

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University
744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan

June 9, 2022
September 27, 2022
December 20, 2022
variable stiffness, surgical robot, stiffness actuator

Highly rigid surgical robots are capable of precise positioning; however, there is a risk of injury to the surrounding organs owing to undesired contact. To solve this problem, surgeons can change their stiffness according to the desired motion by contracting and relaxing the muscles. Therefore, surgical robots that can change their stiffness according to their application, similar to a surgeon, are useful in improving safety. However, existing variable stiffness actuators cannot easily achieve a wide variable stiffness range while maintaining a small size and lightweight, which are critical factors for surgical robots. This study presents the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a variable stiffness actuator that is compact and provides a wide range of variable stiffness, with elastic elements arranged in a circumferential direction.

Compact variable stiffness actuator for surgical robots

Compact variable stiffness actuator for surgical robots

Cite this article as:
T. Osaka, K. Seto, D. Bandara, H. Nogami, and J. Arata, “Compact Variable Stiffness Actuator for Surgical Robots,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.34 No.6, pp. 1225-1232, 2022.
Data files:
  1. [1] M. D. Hill and G. Niemeyer, “Real-time estimation of human impedance for haptic interfaces,” Third Joint EuroHaptics Conf. and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, pp. 440-445, 2009.
  2. [2] K. J. Kuchenbecker, J. G. Park, and G. Niemeyer, “Characterizing the human wrist for improved haptic interaction,” Proc. ASME Int. Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Vol.2, pp. 591-598, 2003.
  3. [3] J. K. Salisbury, “Active stiffness control of a manipulator in cartesian coordinates,” 19th IEEE Conf. on Decision and Control including the Symposium on Adaptive Processes, pp. 95-100, 1980.
  4. [4] K. F. Laurin-Kovitz, J. E. Colgate, and S. D. R. Carnes, “Design of components for programmable passive impedance,” Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Vol.2, pp. 1476-1481, 1991.
  5. [5] B. Vanderborght, A. Albu-Schäffer, A. Bicchi, E. Burdet, D. G. Caldwell, R. Carloni, M. Catalano, O. Eiberger, W. Friedl, G. Ganesh, M. Garabini, M. Grebenstein, G. Grioli, S. Haddadin, H. Hoppner, A. Jafari, M. Laffranchi, D. Lefeber, F. Petit, S. Stramigioli, N. Tsagarakis, M. Van Damme, R. Van Ham, L. C. Visser, and S. Wolf, “Variable impedance actuators: A review,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Vol.61, No.12, pp. 1601-1614, 2013.
  6. [6] O. Eiberger, S. Haddadin, M. Weis, A. Albu-Schäffer, and G. Hirzinger, “On joint design with intrinsic variable compliance: Derivation of the DLR QA-joint,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 1687-1694, 2010.
  7. [7] G. Tonietti, R. Schiavi, and A. Bicchi, “Design and control of a variable stiffness actuator for safe and fast physical human/robot interaction,” Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, pp. 526-531, 2005.
  8. [8] S. S. Groothuis, G. Rusticelli, A. Zucchelli, S. Stramigioli, and R. Carloni, “The variable stiffness actuator vsaUT-II: Mechanical design, modeling, and identification,” IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol.19, No.2, pp. 589-597, 2013.
  9. [9] A. Jafari, N. G. Tsagarakis, B. Vanderborght, and D. G. Caldwell, “A novel actuator with adjustable stiffness (AwAS),” IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 4201-4206, 2010.
  10. [10] S. Kawamura, T. Yamamoto, D. Ishida, T. Ogata, Y. Nakayama, O. Tabata, and S. Sugiyama, “Development of passive elements with variable mechanical impedance for wearable robots,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Vol.1, pp. 248-253, 2002.
  11. [11] J. Choi, S. Hong, W. Lee, S. Kang, and M. Kim, “A robot joint with variable stiffness using leaf springs,” IEEE Trans. on Robotics, Vol.27, No.2, pp. 229-238, 2011.
  12. [12] D. Hua, X. Liu, Z. Li, P. Fracz, A. Hnydiuk-Stefan, and Z. Li, “A review on structural configurations of magnetorheological fluid based devices reported in 2018-2020,” Frontiers in Materials, Vol.8, Article No.640102, 2021.
  13. [13] J.-S. Oh, J.-W. Sohn, and S.-B. Choi, “Applications of magnetorheological fluid actuator to multi-dof systems: state-of-the-art from 2015 to 2021,” Actuators, Vol.11, Article No.44, 2022.
  14. [14] L. Zhang, W. Wang, Y. Shi, Y. Chu, and X. Ming, “A new variable stiffness actuator and its control method,” Industrial Robot, Vol.46, No.4, pp. 553-560, 2019.
  15. [15] K. Seto, K. Kiguchi, and J. Arata, “Compact and lightweight variable stiffness mechanism using elastic band for medical robots,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), pp. 1557-1561, 2019.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Jun. 03, 2024