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Integrated, proportionally controlled, and naturally compliant universal joint actuator with controllable stiffness

United States Patent

March 22, 2005
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus for traversing obstacles having an elongated, round, flexible body that includes a plurality of segments interconnected by an integrated joint actuator assembly. The integrated joint actuator assembly includes a plurality of bellows-type actuators individually coupling adjacent segments to permit pivotal actuation of the apparatus therebetween. A controller is employed to maintain proper positional control and stiffness control while minimize air flow.
Borenstein; Johann (Ann Arbor, MI), Granosik; Grzegorz (Ann Arbor, MI)
The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
10/ 672,290
September 26, 2003
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT This invention was made with Government support under Award No. DE-FG04-86NE37969 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.