Linear One-to-Many (OTM) system:

Many degrees of freedom independently actuated by one electric motor

Abstract:

The One-To-Many (OTM) system is a novel concept for actuation and mechanical energy storage. The “One-To-Many” (OTM) concept allows a single electric motor to store energy in the form of elastic potential energy to drive multiple (e.g. hundred) motor units or independently controlled mechanical degrees of freedom. Hence, the OTM concept offers an alternative to conventional methods of linear actuation by minimizing the number of electric motors in a system, hence relaxing the power, mass, dimensions, and cost of the system. Critical to this concept is the OTM architecture which utilizes light weight, high-speed, energy efficient, robust, and cost-effective clutches that provide positional feedback. We utilize linear springs as elastic mediums for energy storage and bi-stable solenoid based clutches that require minimal energy to transition between states.


Publications and Presentations:

1. M. B. Popovic, C. J. Berthelette, M. DiPinto, J. D. Sareault, and T. R. Hunt (Publication date 2016/5/19) “Actuation Systems and Methods” (One-to-many systems for electric motors). United States Patent and Trademark Office, Assignee Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Serial No.: 61/844,604. Filed: July 10, 2013. US Patent 20,160,138,690, 2016.

2. T. R. Hunt, C. J. Berthelette, and M. B. Popovic, Linear One-to-Many (OTM) system: Many degrees of freedom independently actuated by one electric motor; 5th Annual IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA), Greater Boston Area, Massachusetts, USA, April 22-23, 2013.

3. Christopher J. Berthelette, Adam L. Blumenau, Alec A. Ishak, Thane R. Hunt, (faculty) Germano S. Iannacchione, (faculty) Stephan Koehler, and (faculty, advisor) Marko B. Popovic, "Touch Tomorrow with Soft Robotics Exo-Musculature and One-To-Many (OTM) system", Poster and Demo, WPI Touch Tomorrow and the NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, June 16, 2012.

(link to updated poster with all researchers pictured)

4. T. R. Hunt, C. J. Berthelette, G. S. Iannacchione, S. Koehler, and M. B. Popovic, "Soft Robotics Variable Stiffness Exo-Musculature, One-To-Many Concept, and Advanced Clutches", IEEE ICRA 2012 WORKSHOP: Variable Stiffness Actuators moving the Robots of Tomorrow, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 14, 2012.

5. C. J. Berthelette, G. S. Iannacchione, S. Koehler, and M. B. Popovic, "The One-To-Many Concept and Soft Robotics ExoMusculature" (submitted to IROS on March 10, 2012)


Current Researchers:

Marko B. Popovic


Past Researchers:

Christopher J. Berthelette, Adam Blumenau, Thane R. Hunt, Germano Iannacchione, Alec Ishak, and Stephan Koehler