Compact Variable Stiffness Actuator for Surgical Robots

Toshiro Osaka, Kenichiro Seto, D. S.V. Bandara, Hirofumi Nogami, Jumpei Arata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Highly rigid surgical robots are capable of precise po-sitioning; however, there is a risk of injury to the sur-rounding organs owing to undesired contact. To solve this problem, surgeons can change their stiffness according to the desired motion by contracting and re-laxing the muscles. Therefore, surgical robots that can change their stiffness according to their application, similar to a surgeon, are useful in improving safety. However, existing variable stiffness actuators cannot easily achieve a wide variable stiffness range while maintaining a small size and lightweight, which are critical factors for surgical robots. This study presents the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a variable stiffness actuator that is compact and provides a wide range of variable stiffness, with elastic elements ar-ranged in a circumferential direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1232
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotics and Mechatronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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