This past week, I attended the annual RoboBusiness conference in Santa Clara, sponsored by Robotics Business Review. The conference featured some keynote addresses related to recent advances in AI and grasping technology, as well as five different technical tracks focused on the robotics industry and aspect of robot design.
Although strain wave, or “harmonic,” gearing can deliver high reduction ratios in a relatively small form factor, it is well known that the technology also impairs the dynamic performance of robot arms due to elastic deformation that occurs even well below the drive’s rated torque.
Torque density is the ratio of the rated torque of a transmission to its weight. Torque density is an especially critical parameter in robot arm design since the weight of the robot arm actuators become part of a distributed load that needs to be moved and positioned along with the primary robot payload.