A Neutrally Stable Quasi-Compliant Spherical Joint With a Remote Center of Rotation

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Abstract

This thesis presents the design of a quasi-compliant spherical joint which is neutrally stable in two DoF and has a remote center of rotation. Such a joint can be used, for example, as an exoskeleton's shoulder joint. The foundation of this joint design lies in previous work that has succeeded in designing a compliant spherical joint with a remote center of rotation, but without neutral stability. The existing joint is simulated and its energy properties are analysed. Thereafter it is adapted and optimized for an axi-symmetrical energy field. A spring is introduced to the joint and optimized such that the combined energy field of both spring and joint, is neutrally stable. Experimental verification of the simulation was achieved with a prototype for which a moment reduction of 83.69% was achieved through the addition of the spring.