, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 125-141
Date: 07 Nov 2012

A stiffness modeling methodology for simulation-driven design of haptic devices

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Efficient development and engineering of high performing interactive devices, such as haptic robots for surgical training benefits from model-based and simulation-driven design. The complexity of the design space and the multi-domain and multi-physics character of the behavior of such a product ask for a systematic methodology for creating and validating compact and computationally efficient simulation models to be used in the design process. Modeling the quasi-static stiffness is an important first step before optimizing the mechanical structure, engineering the control system, and performing hardware in the loop tests. The stiffness depends not only on the stiffness of the links, but also on the contact stiffness in each joint. A fine-granular Finite element method (FEM) model, which is the most straightforward approach, cannot, due to the model size and simulation complexity, efficiently be used to address such tasks. In this work, a new methodology for creating an analytical and compact model of the quasi-static stiffness of a haptic device is proposed, which considers the stiffness of actuation systems, flexible links and passive joints. For the modeling of passive joints, a hertzian contact model is introduced for both spherical and universal joints, and a simply supported beam model for universal joints. The validation process is presented as a systematic guideline to evaluate the stiffness parameters both using parametric FEM modeling and physical experiments. Preloading has been used to consider the clearances and possible assembling errors during manufacturing. A modified JP Merlet kinematic structure is used to exemplify the modeling and validation methodology.