Lab Report Summary: Hydraulic Joint

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Stephen E. Noreck
MET 1100

Assignment 13 Lab Report Summary

The purpose of the report is to demonstrate a flexible hydraulic joint which was inspired by the legs of a spider. The author theorizes that a deformable tube can be used in a joint in lieu of a hinge, akin to the blood-filled spaces within a spider's leg, will grant the robotic joint greater range of motion.

The initial test demonstrated a single joint on a rigid frame. A weight was applied to a suspended beam, applying pressure to the hinge tube. Pressure on the tube was measured with a pressure gauge, and the external torque acting on the joint was calculated based on digital pictures taken of the model. Later, he constructed a more complex model with multiple joints, tested its strength and flexibility, and also compared it to other forms of robotic joints and rotary actuators. Later, he experimented with adding additional tubes to a joint.

The author presented a table of properties of the hydraulic joint, which included specifications of the tube and the flexible beam, as well as Young's modulus for both. Also, he gave the pressure measured in relation to the angle of the joint and torque exerted, and the energy efficiency of the joint given several different load weights. The data was given in tables and charts.

The author was pleased to find that experiments agreed with the calculated results. He also derived a new equation for joints using the tube modules as joints.

It is amazing what new technologies we can discover by simply observing nature. Spiders are very efficient movers and it stands to reason that the design of their legs plays a major role in their success in the wild. I makes sense to develop robotics based on these highly efficient appendages. The author thoroughly presented his procedures and data, as well as the equations he used, which would make this experiment very easy and tempting to duplicate someday....
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