Official ASME Group

Journal of Mechanical Design

The ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD) serves the broad design community as a venue for scholarly, archival research in all aspects of the design activity.
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  • Featured Article: Thumb Configuration and Performance Evaluation for Dexterous Robotic Hand Design

    Hairong Wang; Shaowei Fan; Hong Liu
    J. Mech. Des. 2016; 139(1):012304-012304-12
    doi: 10.1115/1.4034837

    The force and/or motion transmissibility and the analyticity of inverse kinematics for a thumb mechanism depend on thumb configuration. This paper presents a general framework for the thumb configuration and performance evaluation in the design of dexterous robotic hand. The thumb configuration is described by the functional analysis of human thumb, and the thumb of robotic hand is generalized into fifteen configurations. A performance evaluation method is proposed based on kinetostatic and dynamic dexterity as well as workspace. The kinetostatic dexterity is based on a Jacobian matrix condition number. A dynamic dexterity measure is presented via acceleration analysis, which keeps a clear geometric meaning. The proposed method is applied to evaluate the performance of three examples, which cover thumb configurations of most existing dexterous hands. Performance evaluation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Using these results and the proposed performance evaluation method, meaningful design principles are presented to guide the design of the thumb configuration.
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    For the full paper please see ASME's Digital Collection.
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  • Featured Article: Inspiration and Fixation: The Influences of Example Designs and System Properties in Idea Generation

    Luis A. Vasconcelos; Carlos C. Cardoso; Maria Sääksjärvi; Chih-Chun Chen; Nathan Crilly
    J. Mech. Des. 2017; 139(3):031101-031101-13
    doi: 10.1115/1.4035540

    External inspiration stimuli can be very effective to help designers arrive at new ideas that they would be otherwise unlikely to generate. However, exposure to external stimuli can also hinder creativity and fixate designers on particular features of such stimuli. We conducted an experiment with novice designers to compare the inspiration effects from two stimuli types: a concrete example solution (a bike) and an abstract property that a solution might incorporate (modularity). Working alone in a short design session, participants were asked to generate ideas to eliminate the need for people to have multiple bikes as they grow up. We found that exposure to either the concrete example or the abstract property reduced the total number of ideas generated and how diverse those ideas were, and that exposure to both stimuli (together) reduced these measures even further. We also found that each stimulus affected participants differently, encouraging ideas like one type of stimulus, while discouraging ideas like the other type. These findings reinforce the idea that external stimuli can hinder creativity and should be accessed carefully. They also show how concrete and abstract stimuli can produce similar inspiration effects, challenging our intuitions about how to encourage wide-ranging ideas. This has the potential to shape how design is taught and how inspiration tools are developed.
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    Full the full paper please visit ASME's Digital Collection.
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  • Featured Article: Development and Evaluation of a Mechanical Stance-Controlled Orthotic Knee Joint with Stance Flexion


    Jan Andrysek; Matthew J. Leineweber; Hankyu Lee
    ‚ÄčJ. Mech. Des. 2017; 139(3):035001-035001-7
    doi: 10.1115/1.4035372

    People with severe impairment of the lower body caused by conditions such as polio or stroke often rely on assistive devices for mobility. Knee orthosis plays an important role in restoring mobility by stabilizing the weakened lower limb and providing support for standing and walking. Concurrently, the orthosis should allow for natural and efficient movement of the limb as required for walking. The focus of this work is to develop a new method for controlling orthotic knee joints. The new control method uses a mechanical system to monitor loading and timing events and patterns, and apply knee-locking function when the limb is loaded. A prototype was built and tested on a polio patient and demonstrated the feasibility of this approach for providing reliable orthotic function. Further work aims to test the knee joint on a larger group of individuals within the community.

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    For the full paper please visit ASME's Digital Collection.
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