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Novel smart connector for modular robotics

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2 Author(s)
Badescu, M. ; Robotics & Mechatronics Lab., Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, NJ, USA ; Mavroidis, C.

This paper presents the concept, design, analytical modeling and experimental prototype for a new “smart connector”, which provides electrical and mechanical connection between components of a system, specifically robotic modules. The connector includes plug and receptacle components. The plug has a central pin surrounded by a plurality of lamellae. The lamellae have an end connected to the base and a free end. A shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator is positioned about the lamellae of the plug for controlling the movement of the free end of the lamellae. The receptacle, which includes an SMA actuator, has a pin housing corresponding to the central pin of the plug. In another configuration, the plug and receptacle are positioned side by side to provide a universal connector. The connector can transmit axial force through the lamellae, shear force through the receptacle and plug housings, and torque in the case of universal configuration. The disconnection can be controlled from plug and/or receptacle side(s)

Published in:

Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, 2001. Proceedings. 2001 IEEE/ASME International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

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