Design and Modelling of a Minimally Actuated Serial Robot

Yotam Ayalon, Lior Damti, David Zarrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this letter we present a minimally actuated overly redundant serial robot (MASR). The robot is composed of a planar arm comprised of ten passive rotational joints and a single mobile actuator that travels over the links to reach designated joints and rotate them. The joints remain locked, using a worm gear setup, after the mobile actuator moves to another link. A gripper is attached to the mobile actuator thus allowing it to transport objects along the links to decrease the actuation of the joints and the working time. A linear stepper motor is used to control the vertical motion of the robot in 3D space. Along the letter, we present the mechanical design of the robot with 10 passive joints and the automatic actuation of the mobile actuator. We also present an optimization algorithm and simulations designed to minimize the working time and the travelled distance of the mobile actuator. Multiple experiments conducted using a robotic prototype depict the advantages of the MASR robot: its very low weight compared to similar robots, its high modularity and the ease of replacement of its parts since there is no wiring along the arm, as shown in the accompanying video.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9126155
Pages (from-to)4899-4906
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Serial robot
  • mechanical design
  • minimal actuation
  • mobile actuator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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