Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Research article
10 May 2011
Research article |  | 10 May 2011

Concept of modular flexure-based mechanisms for ultra-high precision robot design

M. Richard and R. Clavel

Abstract. This paper introduces a new concept of modular flexure-based mechanisms to design industrial ultra-high precision robots, which aims at significantly reducing both the complexity of their design and their development time. This modular concept can be considered as a robotic Lego, where a finite number of building bricks is used to quickly build a high-precision robot. The core of the concept is the transformation of a 3-D design problem into several 2-D ones, which are simpler and well-mastered. This paper will first briefly present the theoretical bases of this methodology and the requirements of both types of building bricks: the active and the passive bricks. The section dedicated to the design of the active bricks will detail the current research directions, mainly the maximisation of the strokes and the development of an actuation sub-brick. As for the passive bricks, some examples will be presented, and a discussion regarding the establishment of a mechanical solution catalogue will conclude the section. Last, this modular concept will be illustrated with a practical example, consisting in the design of a 5-degree of freedom ultra-high precision robot.