IROS 2015 Paper Abstract


Paper ThDT12.2

Gan, Zhenyu (University of Michigan), Fry, Katelyn (University of Michigan), Gillespie, Brent (University of Michigan), Remy, C. David (University of Michigan)

A Novel Variable Transmission with Digital Hydraulics

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular session "Actuation and Mechanism" (ThDT12), Thursday, October 1, 2015, 14:15−14:30, Saal C3

2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sept 28 - Oct 03, 2015, Congress Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 19, 2019

Keywords Hydraulic/Pneumatic Actuators, Mechanism Design, Wearable Robots


This paper presents a novel variable transmission system that is based on the concept of digital hydraulics. In the proposed system, sets of rolling-diaphragm cylinders are mounted via different effective lever arms to an input and output joint. A variable subset of these cylinders is connected via three-way two-position on/off valves to a common hydraulic manifold. This introduces a controllable constraint on the hydraulic flow and creates a programmable hydraulic transmission. With three single-acting cylinders, we could realize 37 different transmission ratios. We investigated the nonholonomic flow constraint analytically, in simulation, and with an experimental prototype. Using water as fluid, we show that a very stiff transmission (124.2 Nm/rad) can be achieved within the range of 6. Theoretical transmission ratios are tracked with R-squared values of more than 0.996 and backlash is smaller than 1.4%. Furthermore, we show the applicability of the proposed transmission in the simulation of a body-powered knee-ankle exoskeleton.



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