Modeling, Analysis, and Experimental Validation of an Electric Linear Series Elastic Actuator for an Exoskeleton
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Exoskeletons and humanoid robots require high-power, low-weight, and back-driveable actuators. This paper describes the design and analysis of a high-force linear series elastic actuator for a lower body exoskeleton. The actuator is powered by two motors and utilize a liquid cooling system to increase its maximum continuous torque. The actuator is capable of outputting a maximum continuous force of 4800N and a maximum speed of 0.267 m/s with a maximum continuous motor current of 18A. The Titanium leaf spring was used in the actuator to provide compliance. The spring has a median stiffness of 587 N/mm with standard deviation of 38 N/mm, validated by experiments. Dynamic model was created to analyze the normal modes and can be used for developing model-based controllers.
General Audience Abstract
Compliant Linear actuators with ball screw have become popular for humanoids robots and exoskeleton. The use of ball screw lead to high efficiency, high gear ratio and high back-drivability. The compliance or the ''softness'' of the actuator comes from Titanium leaf spring, which can storage energy during gait cycle and protect motor and the ball screw from impacts of walking. The custom liquid cooling system improves the force density for the actuator. Beam theory analysis, heat transfer analysis, and dynamics analysis were performed to provides insights for the actuator system.
- Masters Theses