Autonomous Robots

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MACCEPA 2.0: compliant actuator used for energy efficient hopping robot Chobino1D

  • Bram VanderborghtEmail author
  • Nikos G. Tsagarakis
  • Ronald Van Ham
  • Ivar Thorson
  • Darwin G. Caldwell


The MACCEPA (Mechanically Adjustable Compliance and Controllable Equilibrium Position Actuator) is an electric actuator of which the compliance and equilibrium position are fully independently controllable and both are set by two dedicated servomotor. In this paper an improvement of the actuator is proposed where the torque-angle curve and consequently the stiffness-angle curve can be modified by choosing an appropriate shape of a profile disk, which replaces the lever arm of the original design. The actuator has a large joint angle, torque and stiffness range and these properties can be made beneficial for safe human robot interaction and the construction of energy efficient walking, hopping and running robots. The benefit of the ability to store and release energy is shown by the 1DOF hopping robot Chobino1D. The achieved hopping height is much higher compared to a configuration in which the same motor is used without a series elastic element. The stiffness of the actuator increases with deflection, more closely resembling the properties shown by elastic tissue in humans.


Adaptable compliant actuation Energy efficiency Hopping robot 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bram Vanderborght
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nikos G. Tsagarakis
    • 2
  • Ronald Van Ham
    • 1
  • Ivar Thorson
    • 2
  • Darwin G. Caldwell
    • 2
  1. 1.Robotics & Multibody Mechanics Research GroupVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselBelgium
  2. 2.Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences DepartmentItalian Institute of TechnologyGenoaItaly

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