Design of a Modular Series Elastic Upgrade to a Robotics Actuator

  • Leandro Tomé Martins
  • Roberta de Mendonça Pretto
  • Reinhard Gerndt
  • Rodrigo da Silva GuerraEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8992)


In this article we present a compact and modular device designed to allow a conventional stiff servo actuator to be easily upgraded into a series elastic actuator (SEA). This is a low cost, open source and open hardware solution including mechanical CAD drawings, circuit schematics, board designs and firmware code. We present a complete overview of the project as well as a case study where we show the device being employed as an upgrade to add compliance to the knee joints of an existing humanoid robot design.


Series elastic actuator Passive compliance 


  1. 1.
    Gerndt, R., Krupop, S., Ciesielski, S., Carstensen, J., Gillich, F., Bolze, T.: WF Wolves KidSize team description RoboCup 2011. In: Workshop RoboCup Singapore (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Groothuis, S.S., Stramigioli, S., Carloni, R.: Lending a helping hand: toward novel assistive robotic arms. IEEE Robot. Autom. Mag. 20(1), 20–29 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Guizzo, E., Ackerman, E.: The rise of the robot worker. IEEE Spectr. 49(10), 34–41 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ha, I., Tamura, Y., Asama, H., Han, J., Hong, D.: Development of open humanoid platform DARwIn-OP. In: 2011 Proceedings of SICE Annual Conference (SICE), pp. 2178–2181, September 2011Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jain, A., Kemp, C.C.: Pulling open doors and drawers: Coordinating an omni-directional base and a compliant arm with equilibrium point control. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pp. 1807–1814 (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Krebs, H.I., Volpe, B.T.: Rehabilitation robotics. Handb. Clin. Neurol. 110(283–294) (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kushner, D.: The making of arduino. IEEE Spectrum 26 (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Meyer, F., Sprowitz, A., Lungarella, M., Berthouze, L.: Simple and low-cost compliant leg-foot system. In: 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2004), vol. 1, pp. 515–520, September 2004Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    UFSM: Website of the Grupo de Automação e Robótica Aplicada (GARRA) (2014).
  10. 10.
    Wang, W., Loh, R.N.K., Gu, E.Y.: Passive compliance versus active compliance in robot-based automated assembly systems. Ind. Robot 25(1), 48–57 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leandro Tomé Martins
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberta de Mendonça Pretto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Reinhard Gerndt
    • 2
  • Rodrigo da Silva Guerra
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de TecnologiaUniv. Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Computer SciencesOstfalia University of Applied SciencesWolfenbüttelGermany

Personalised recommendations