The flexibility and structural compliance of the biological shoulder joint allows humans to perform a wide range of motions with their arms. The current paper is a preliminary study in which we propose a structurally compliant robotic manipulator joint inspired by the human shoulder joint, which elastically deforms when actuated. The tensile actuation is similar to the contraction and extension of biological muscles. We present four separate models for the shoulder: a simple saddle, a complex saddle, a suspended tubercle, and interlocked tetrahedrons. The analysis explores the dynamics in each design to compare the inherent advantages and disadvantages, which gives insight into the design and development of better interfaces for biologically inspired human-oriented robotics.

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