Earlier this year, a relative of mine, Sidney Mandell, tragically passed away. I had the good fortune to serve with Sidney on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA). Though he started before me, his MDNA career and mine overlapped for about 2 years. As I think back on the many things I learned form him, one of his favorite phrases keeps come to mind: "We walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before us."
This article presents an efficient and direct method for the synthesis of compound planetary differential gear trains for the generation of specified multiple speed ratios. It is a train-value method that utilizes the train values of the integrated train components of the systems to form design equations which are solved for the tooth numbers of the gears, the number of mating gear sets and the number of external contacts in the system. Application examples, including vehicle differential transmission units, rear-end differentials with unit and fractional speed ratios, multi-input functions generators and robot wrist joints are given.
In robot configurations it is desirable to be able to obtain an arbitrary orientation of the output element or end-effector. This implies a minimum of two independent rotations about two (generally perpendicular) intersecting axes. If, in addition, the out element performs a mechanical task such as in manufacturing or assembly (e.g., drilling, turning, boring, etc.) it may be necessary for the end-effector to rotate about its axis. If such a motion is to be realized with gearing, this necessitates a three-degree-of-freedom, three-dimensional gear train, which provides a mechanical drive of gyroscopic complexity; i.e., a drive with independently controlled inputs about three axes corresponding to azimuth, nutation, and spin.