This paper experimentally validates the simulation model developed in previous work to improve the reliability and efficiency of robot arms via a passive-assist design approach. Specifically, this procedure alters the mechanical design of a robot arm by incorporating a parallel spring designed to reduce the peak motor torque and energy required to perform a specified maneuver. Our experiment consisted of a single link robot arm, worm gear transmission, DC motor, sensors, and a PC based controller. We experimentally demonstrated that our model is accurate to within 3% and that the addition of a well-designed spring can reduce peak motor torques by ∼50% and energy consumption by as much as 25%.

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