Miniature, Lightweight, High-Force, Capstan Winch For Mobile Robots

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have designed a miniature capstan winch for mobile robots that is compatible with low friction, ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene (UHMWPE) braided cable. The lightweight, extremely stron…
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have designed a miniature capstan winch for mobile robots that is compatible with low friction, ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene (UHMWPE) braided cable. The lightweight, extremely strong UHMWPE cable allows the size of the device to be scaled down without drastically decreasing its load capacity. This miniature capstan winch replaces the self-tailing tensioning mechanism found in commercial capstan winches with a novel integrated self-tensioning mechanism that avoids the use of serrated teeth, which would damage the UHMWPE cable. Additionally, it avoids using a tapered shaft, which is commonplace in commercial capstan winches but can result in shaft weakness and failure at a smaller scale.

Website

https://techtransfer.universityofcalifornia.edu/NCD/32814.html?utm_source=AUTMGTP&utm_medium=webpage&utm_term=ncdid_32814&utm_campaign=TechWebsites

Advantages

  • Compatible with ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene (UHMWPE) cable, which is both much lighter and approximately 10 times stronger than steel cable
  • Scaled-down mass (~20 g) with relatively high load capacity (~5 kg)
  • More mass-efficient than other actuators at long stroke lengths
  • Suitable for use in small-scale mobile robots
  • The smaller size makes it cheaper to deploy

Potential Applications

  • Space exploration, including Lunar and Mars rovers
  • Small-scale robotics

Contact Information

Name: Mary Raven

Email: raven@tia.ucsb.edu