Journal of Intelligent & Robotic Systems

, Volume 94, Issue 2, pp 303–325 | Cite as

Design and Kinematic Analysis of the Novel Almost Spherical Parallel Mechanism Active Ankle

  • Shivesh KumarEmail author
  • Bertold Bongardt
  • Marc Simnofske
  • Frank Kirchner


The novel mechanism Active Ankle features three degrees of freedom that operate in an almost spherical manner. In comparison to spherical devices, its design offers advantages such as high stiffness, a simple and robust construction, and a good stress distribution. In the present paper, a comprehensive study of the design, analysis, and control of the Active Ankle in its almost-spherical work modality is provided. In particular, the kinematic analysis of the mechanism is conducted, solving the full inverse, the rotative inverse, and the forward kinematic problems. In addition, the manipulator’s workspace is characterized and the kinematic control, that has been implemented on a prototype of Active Ankle, is presented together with experimental results that demonstrate the employability as an ankle joint in a full body exoskeleton.


Parallel robots Kinematics Mechanism design of manipulators Prosthetics and exoskeletons 


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The work presented in this paper was performed within the project Recupera-Reha, funded by the German Aero-space Center (DLR) with federal funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Grant 01-IM-14006A).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robotics Innovation Center (RIC)German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)BremenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Robotics and Process Control (IRP)Technical University of BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  3. 3.Fachbereich Mathematik und Informatik, Arbeitsgruppe RobotikUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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