Novel Robot Arm Concept for Lightweighting High Performance Machinery

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To improve the efficiency of robots, a novel sustainable design of a robotic arm is proposed that can address the thermal, vibration, energy usage and dynamic stiffness issues. The proposed design utilises easy-to-produce carbon fibre tubes including some that are commercially available, for the robot link instead of traditional materials, which can be heavy and carbon intensive. The design involves arranging several carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) tubes in a specific array inside an epoxy resin substrate. Based on this design, a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was implemented demonstrating the relatively low mass and high stiffness characteristics. Design optimisation was then performed using custom generated MATLAB® code to reduce the computation time. The proposed design for a one-meter-long robot link with a diameter of 108 mm offers a stiffness of 0.75 N/μm. A structural steel link, with the same stiffness, is 33 % heavier than the concept design. The design maintains thermal stability with about a third of the thermal deformation seen in structural steel.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20230006
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Machine Design and Automation Intelligence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2024

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