2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint

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Study Torsional Compliance and Joint Flexibility

The 2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint is a simplified model of a robotic arm ideally suited to introduce intermediate and advanced control concepts and theories relevant to real world applications of torsional compliance and joint flexibility as encountered in high gear ratio harmonic drives and lightweight transmission shafts. Students learn how to design a control system to position the robot tip in a plane as rapidly as possible, with minimum vibrations.

In addition to teaching control concepts, the 2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint can be used for research in various areas related to robotics and mechatronics, including nonlinear control, optimal control and intelligent control.

How It Works

This 2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint system consists of two DC motors, each driving a two-bar serial linkage via a harmonic gearbox (zero backlash). Both links are rigid. The primary link is coupled to the first drive by means of a flexible joint and carries at its end the second harmonic drive, to which the second rigid link is attached. Both motors and flexible joints are instrumented with quadrature optical encoders. Each flexible joint uses interchangable set of springs for variable torsional spring rate. The position of the spring end can be changed to different anchor points along its support bar using a thumbscrew mechanism.

This Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) system is supplied with a decoupled state-feedback controller reducing flexibility-caused oscillations as well as link-coupling effects. However, the open-architecture design of the system allows you to design and implement any other controller.

Quanser-developed Courseware Included

The 2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint comes with Quanser-developed courseware materials, including a Reference Manual and pre-designed controllers. This allows you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.

  • High quality aluminum chassis with precision crafted components
  • High resolution optical encoders to sense joint position and deflection
  • Interchangeable set of springs for variable torsional spring rate
  • Fully compatible with MATLAB®/Simulink® and LabVIEW™
  • Fully documented system models and parameters provided for MATLAB®, Simulink®, LabVIEW™
  • Open architecture design, allowing users to design their own controller
Plant dimensions (L x W x H)  50.8 cm x 50.8 cm x 24 cm
2 DOF Flexible Joint total length  61 cm
Flexible joint #1 maximum displacement ± 90 deg
Flexible joint #2 maximum displacement  ± 90 deg
Drive #1 encoder sensitivity (quadrature) 1.524 x 10-5 rad/count
Drive #2 encoder sensitivity (quadrature) 1.918 x 10-5 rad/count
Flexible Joint encoder sensitivity (quadrature) 23.968 x 10-5 rad/count
Flexible joint #1 maximum continuous torque 8.6 N.m
Flexible joint #2 maximum continuous torque 1.7 N.m
Maximum additional payload 0.5 kg

To set up your 2 DOF Serial Flexible Joint workstation, you need additional components. Quanser engineers recommend:

for MATLAB®/Simulink® users  
1x Q8-USB data acquisition device¹  
1x AMPAQ-L2 linear current amplifier²  
QUARC real-time control software  

¹ alternatively, you can use QPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by QUARC
² alternatively, you can use AMPAQ-L4 amplifier

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