In this paper a patented parallel structure will be presented in which conventional bearings are replaced by flexure hinges made of pseudo-elastic shape memory alloy. The robot has six degrees of freedom and was developed for micro assembly tasks. Laboratory tests made with the robot using conventional bearings have shown that the repeatability was only a couple of 1/100 mm instead of the theoretical resolution of the platform of < 1 micrometers . Especially the slip-stick effects of the bearings decreased the positional accuracy. Because flexure hinges gain their mobility only by a deformation of matter, no backlash, friction and slip-stick-effects exist in flexure hinges. For this reason the repeatability of robots can be increased by using flexure hinges. Joints with different degrees of freedom had to be replaced in the structure. This has been done by a combination of flexure hinges with one rotational degree of freedom. FEM simulations for different designs of the hinges have been made to calculate the possible maximal angular deflections. The assumed maximal deflection of 20 degree(s) of the hinges restricts the workspace of the robot to 28x28 mm with no additional rotation of the working platform. The deviations between the kinematic behavior of the compliant parallel mechanism and its rigid body model can be simulated with the FEM.
"Compliant parallel robot with 6 DOF", Proc. SPIE 4568, Microrobotics and Microassembly III, (8 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444121; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.444121