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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

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EDITORIAL
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Polyhedral linkages obtained as assemblies of planar link groups
GÖkhan KİPER, Eres SÖYLEMEZ
Front. Mech. Eng.. 2013, 8 (1): 3-9.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0363-6
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The study aims to devise means of obtaining polyhedral linkages for homothetic deployment of polyhedral shapes by embedding planar link groups in faces of the polyhedral shape of interest. The questions of which polyhedral shapes may be suitable for such a purpose and what are the compatibility conditions for spatially assembling planar link groups are addressed. Homohedral and tangential polyhedral shapes are found to be suitable for the task and some examples of linkages are worked out.

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Shaking-moment balancing of mechanisms with principal vectors and momentum
V. van der WIJK
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 10-16.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0359-2
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The design of shaking-moment-balanced linkages still is challenging. Considering moment balance in the very beginning of the design process of mechanisms is important for finding applicable solutions. For this purpose, the method of principal vectors is investigated, showing a compact notation of the angular momentum with respect to the center of mass. The moment balance conditions are derived for three elements in series from which balance solutions are synthesized and illustrated. From the application for moment balancing of a 4R four-bar linkage it is shown that the moment balancing of closed kinematic chains remains challenging.

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Kinematical synthesis of an inversion of the double linked fourbar for morphing wing applications
J. AGUIRREBEITIA, R. AVILéS, I. FERNáNDEZ, M. ABASOLO
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 17-32.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0364-5
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This paper presents the kinematical features of an inversion of the double linked fourbar for morphing wing purposes. The structure of the mechanism is obtained using structural synthesis concepts, from an initial conceptual schematic. Then, kinematic characteristics as instant center of rotation, lock positions, dead point positions and uncertainty positions are derived for this mechanism in order to face the last step, the dimensional synthesis; in this sense, two kinds of dimensional synthesis are arranged to guide the wing along two positions, and to fulfill with the second one some aerodynamic and minimum actuation energy related issues.

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A modular design kit for task-adaptable low-cost robots based on BaPaMan design
G. BORCHERT, C. L?CHTE, G. CARBONE, A. RAATZ
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 33-41.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0356-5
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This paper discusses the redesign of a binary parallel manipulator named BaPaMan (Binary Actuated Parallel Manipulator). The aim of this work is the improvement of the structures stiffness of BaPaMan. Additionally this paper shows the implementation of a construction kit which allows task-adaptation of low-cost robots based on the BaPaMan structure. BaPaMan is a three degree of freedom (DOF) spatial parallel robot which comprises flexure hinges and Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuators to achieve a low-cost design, well suited for easy operation applications. Measurements have shown that this comes at the cost of poor structural stiffness and end effector accuracy. To counter these issues BaPaMan2 and BaPaMan3 have been developed and are elaborated within this work. During the design phase, an empirical FEA is used to improve the flexure hinge performance, which analyses relations between several design parameters and the stiffness of the entire system. Finally, task-adaptation is achieved by using a design methodology and a parametric CAD model for BaPaMan. Besides the paper introduces first applications of the BaPaMan structure and shows future work.

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Gripping mechanisms in current wood harvesting machines
D. GOUBET, J. C. FAUROUX, G. GOGU
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 42-61.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0358-3
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This paper focuses on the structural synthesis of gripping mechanisms used in the mechanization of the harvesting process. The importance of the gripping function in current devices like harvesting heads is underlined. This function is performed with several typical mechanisms which are listed and described in this article. This study distinguishes two kinds of planar gripping mechanisms mainly used in opening and closing the rollers: five concentric and two lateral ones. Both kinds have advantages and drawbacks. So a third kind of hybrid mechanism has been designed in order to orientate the axis of the rollers during gripping motion in order to combine concentric and lateral gripping advantages. Two planar and one spatial existing mechanisms are described. The last part of this paper presents a structural synthesis of such a spatial parallel mechanism by using the structural parameters and the general formulae established by the third author. Nine kinematic diagrams of spatial parallel mechanisms are provided.

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Self-motions of 3-RPS manipulators
Josef SCHADLBAUER, Manfred L. HUSTY, Stéphane CARO, Philippe WENGERY
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 62-69.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0366-3
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Recently a complete kinematic description of the 3-RPS parallel manipulator was obtained using algebraic constraint equations. It turned out that the workspace splits into two components describing two kinematically different operation modes. In this paper the algebraic description is used to give a complete analysis of all possible self-motions of this manipulator in both operation modes. Furthermore it is shown that a transition from one operation mode into the other in a self-motion is possible.

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Kinematic, workspace and singularity analysis of a new parallel robot used in minimally invasive surgery
Alin STOICA, Doina PISLA, Szilaghyi ANDRAS, Bogdan GHERMAN, Bela-Zoltan GYURKA, Nicolae PLITEA
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 70-79.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0365-4
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In the last ten years, due to development in robotic assisted surgery, the minimally invasive surgery has greatly changed. Until now, the vast majority of robots used in surgery, have serial structures. Due to the orientation parallel module, the structure is able to reduce the pressure exerted on the entrance point in the patient’s abdominal wall. The parallel robot can also handle both a laparoscope as well an active instrument for different surgical procedures. The advantage of this parallel structure is that the geometric model has been obtained through an analytical approach. The kinematic modelling of a new parallel architecture, the inverse and direct geometric model and the inverse and direct kinematic models for velocities and accelerations are being determined. The paper will demonstrate that with this parallel structure, one can obtain the necessary workspace required for a minimally invasive operation. The robot workspace was generated using the inverse geometric model. An in-depth study of different types of singularity is performed, allowing the development of safe control algorithms of the experimental model. Some kinematic simulation results and the experimental model of the robot are presented in the paper.

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Planet position errors in planetary transmission: Effect on load sharing and transmission error
Miguel IGLESIAS, Alfonso FERNáNDEZ, Ana DE-JUAN, Ramón SANCIBRIáN, Pablo GARCíA
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 80-87.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0362-7
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In this paper an advanced model of spur gear transmissions developed by the authors is used to study the influence of carrier planet pin hole position errors on the behaviour of the transmission. The model, initially conceived for external gear modeling, has been extended with internal meshing features, and thus increasing its capabilities to include planetary transmission modeling. The new features are presented, along with the summary of the model general approach. The parameters and characteristics of the planetary transmission used in the paper are introduced. The influence of carrier planet pin hole position errors on the planet load sharing is studied, and several static cases are given as examples in order to show the ability of the model. Tangential and radial planet pin hole position errors are considered independently, and the effect of the load level is also taken into account. It is also given attention to the effect on the transmission error of the transmission. Two different configurations for the planetary transmission are used, attending to the fixed or floating condition of the sun, and the differences in terms of load sharing ratio are shown.

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Analysis of planetary gear transmission in non-stationary operations
Fakher CHAARI, Mohamed Slim ABBES, Fernando Viadero RUEDA, Alfonso Fernandez del RINCON, Mohamed HADDAR
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 88-94.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0361-8
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Planetary gearboxes operate usually in non-stationary conditions generated mainly by variable loads applied to these transmissions. In order to understand the dynamic behavior of planetary gearboxes in such conditions, a mathematic model is developed including driving unit, transmission and load. The variability of load induces a variable speed of the transmission which is taken into account when characterizing the main dynamic parameter of the transmission which is the mesh stiffness function. This function is not periodic following the variability of the transmission speed. The computation of the dynamic response shows an intimate relation between the vibration amplitude level and the load value. As the load increase the vibration level increase. A combined amplitude and frequency modulation is observed which is well characterized using Short Time Fourier transform more suited than the spectral analysis.

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An experimental analysis of human straight walking
Tao LI, Marco CECCARELLI
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 95-103.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0357-4
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In this paper, an experimental analysis of human straight walking has been presented. Experiments on human walking were carried out by using Cassino tracking system which is a passive cable-based measuring system. This system is adopted because it is capable of both pose and wrench measurements with fairly simple monitoring of operation. By using experimental results, trajectories of a human limb extremity and its posture have been analyzed; forces that are exerted against cables by the limb of a person under test have been measured by force sensors as well. Furthermore, by using experimental tests, modeling and characterization of the human straight walking gait have been proposed.

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Computation of the protein molecular mechanism using adaptive dihedral angle increments
Mikel DIEZ, Victor PETUYA, Mónica URIZAR, Erik MACHO, Oscar ALTUZARRRA
Front Mech Eng. 2013, 8 (1): 104-108.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11465-013-0360-9
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Protein motion simulation is still a troublesome problem yet to be solved, especially due to its high computational requirements. The procedure presented in this paper makes use of the proteins’ real degrees of freedom (DOFs). The procedure makes no use of any intermediate energy minimization processes that may alter the motion path or result in very high computational cost requirements. In order to reduce the computational cost, presented algorithms make use of the balls and rods approach for protein structure modelization. Also, structures are normalized in order to minimize inaccuracies introduced by experimental methods, providing a more efficient but still accurate structure for motion simulation.

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