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A biomimetic chewing robot of redundantly actuated parallel mechanism

Guifei Wang (School of Mechanical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Ming Cong (School of Mechanical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian,China)
Weiliang Xu (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Haiying Wen (School of Mechanical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China)
Jing Du (State Key Laboratory of Optical Technologies for Microfabrication, Institute of Optics & Electronics, Chinese Academy of Science, Chengdu, China)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe how a novel biomimetic chewing robot was designed, including its motion, force, control and mechanical designs, and shows some initial experiments about motion tracking.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the biomechanics, the authors modeled the muscles of mastication in six linkages and the temporomandibular joint in higher kinematic pairs of point contact. As a result, the chewing robot was represented in a redundantly actuated parallel mechanism. With reference to literature data on the biological system, the authors specified the motion and force requirements for the robot via inverse kinematics and force analysis. A prototype of the robot was built, which has a position control system and is driven by six linear actuators. Experiments were conducted to show the capability of the robot in reproducing the human chewing motion.

Findings

A chewing robot was successfully modeled and developed, which is able to simulate the motion of human mastication in a biologically faithful way.

Practical implications

The chewing robot as a scientific instrument can be used to test dental materials and evaluate food textural properties of chewing.

Originality/value

Two higher kinematic pairs of point contact are proposed to simulate the two temporomandibular joints. The mechanism of the novel chewing robot is the first of this kind, which has two higher kinematic pairs of point contact and is a redundantly actuated spatial parallel mechanism.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work in this paper was supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program 863(2013AA040303) of China. The first author was sponsored by the doctoral scholarship of China Scholarship Council.

Citation

Wang, G., Cong, M., Xu, W., Wen, H. and Du, J. (2015), "A biomimetic chewing robot of redundantly actuated parallel mechanism", Industrial Robot, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 103-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-11-2014-0416

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited