Robot and robot actuator module therefor

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Date

1994-10-18

Authors

Tesar, Delbert

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United States Patent and Trademark Office

Abstract

An actuator module for inducing the relative motion of robot members joined in a robot joint includes a Ferguson epicyclic gear train, integral motor and integrated control means. The gear train comprises a plurality of base gears connected to the robot members and a plurality of planet gear carriers, each planet gear carrier having a plurality of planet gears rotatably mounted therein. A motor integrated with certain gear train components induces the rotation of the planet gear carriers about or within the base gears. Because of the Ferguson paradox, this induces the motion of base gears connected to one robot member relative to those connected to the other robot member, which in turn causes the relative motion of the robot members. The actuator module can be configured as dual substantially symmetric systems and may comprise multiple stages of epicyclic gearing.

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