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Robotics Research. The Eleventh International Symposium

Volume 15 of the series Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics pp 527-536

Variable Stiffness Actuators for Fast and Safe Motion Control

  • Antonio BicchiAffiliated withCentro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”, Università di Pisa
  • , Giovanni ToniettiAffiliated withCentro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”, Università di Pisa
  • , Michele BavaroAffiliated withCentro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”, Università di Pisa
  • , Marco PiccigalloAffiliated withCentro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca “E. Piaggio”, Università di Pisa

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Abstract

In this paper we propose Variable Stiffness actuation [1] as a viable mechanical/ control co-design approach for guaranteeing control performance for robot arms that are inherently safe to humans in their environment. A new actuator under development in our Lab is then proposed, which incorporate the possibility to vary transmission stiffness during motion execution, thus allowing substantial motion speed-up while maintaining low injury risk levels.