Dual-Speed Dual-Motor Linear Actuator

 

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As part of my research at MIT, I developed a hybrid actuator; in one mode the actuator is strong and precise for manufacturing operations and in the other mode the actuator is fast and capable of high-fidelity force control for locomotion in unknown environments. A conference paper on the topic is available here: A Two-Speed Actuator for Robotics with Fast Seamless Gear Shifting.

My work consisted in:

  • Design and manufacturing of a custom 3-ports differential gearbox;
  • Development of control algorithms for fast and seamless mode transitions in dynamic scenarios;
  • Implementation of the low-level controller on a FPGA and the high-level controller on a real time OS.

Video of the prototype: