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Volume 19 Issue 11 - Publications Date: 1 November 2000
 
Variable Constraint Mechanism and Its Application for Design of Mobile Robots
 
S. Hirose
 
This paper describes the existence of one of the most useful mechanisms for robots, coined the "variable constraint mechanism." The variable constraint mechanism is a system that actively changes constraint conditions by itself in response to the working purpose or the required motion sequence to acquire varied functionality. The paper discusses some of the generalized design principles for the mechanism and shows some example robotic systems, including an adjustable leg-length walking robot, a legged and wheeled hybrid vehicle, an autonomous multisection robot, and a planetary rover with collapsible frame and compressible wheels.
 
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