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New Novel Gear Designs! ABENICS: Active Ball Joint Mechanism

Hey Community! I’d like to share one of the most fascinating videos I’ve seen to date. Coming from Yamagata University in Japan, this project titled “ABENICS” shows a new mechanical design for possible novel powered ball-joint-style servos.

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The first stage of the video shows how taking the standard shape of a normal spline gear and rotating it across a single axis results is a 3D spherical shape with stretched gear teeth and two circular “poles”. It’s possible to create a mating gear by matching the pattern with a 2:1 ratio, which results in a mating gear with one circular pole (“monopole”).

By taking the first gear and repeating the pattern at an offset, it’s possible to create a spherical gear with multiple offset axes that can be driven by two or more monopole gears.

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When assembled into a self-contained unit, these novel gear designs allow previously impossible powered motion in a ball-joint-style form factor.

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This could be a huge breakthrough for mobile robotics and humanoid platforms where compact versatile joints are always needed!

Check out the full video below!

What would you use this style of robot joint for?