Articles | Volume 3, issue 2
Research article
05 Dec 2012
Research article |  | 05 Dec 2012

A statically balanced and bi-stable compliant end effector combined with a laparoscopic 2DoF robotic arm

J. Lassooij, N. Tolou, G. Tortora, S. Caccavaro, A. Menciassi, and J. L. Herder

Abstract. This article presents the design of a newly developed 2DoF robotic arm with a novel statically balanced and bi-stable compliant grasper as the end effector for laparoscopic surgery application. The arm is based on internal motors actuating 2 rotational DoFs: pitch and roll. The positive stiffness of the monolithic grasper has been compensated using pre-curved straight guided beams that are preloaded collinear with the direction of actuation of the grasper. The result is a fully compliant statically balanced laparoscopic grasper. The grasper has been successfully adapted to a robotic arm. The maximum force and stiffness compensations were measured to be 94% and 97% (i.e. near zero stiffness) respectively. Furthermore, the feasibility of adjusting for bi-stable behavior has been shown. This research can be a preliminary step towards the design of a statically balanced fully compliant robotic arm for laparoscopic surgery and similar areas.