Variable Stiffness Handling

Department/Centre: Department of Industrial Engineering/ Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science
Inventors: Daniele Fontanelli (UniTrento), Luigi Palopoli (UniTrento), Fabiano Zenatti (UniTrento), Stefano Divan (UniTrento), Marco Andreetto (UniTrento)
Fields of use: all the applications where a human being physically moves in the environment while interacting with a wheeled mobile vehicle, such as: smart trolley for elderly, passive or robotic transpallets mobile carts.
Keywords: service robotics; human-robot interaction; assistive robotics; authority sharing
Bibliographical data: application number: 102020000009040 (Italian filing); priority date: 27/04/2020, PCT/IB2021/053213 (PCT filing)
Assignees: Università di Trento
Availability: available for license or assignment


This invention concerns the design and implementation of a variable steering stiffness for a passive robotic vehicle. In service robotics applications, such as robotic trolleys for elderly, the invention allows to modulate the user perceived authority: when the motion safety decreases, the vehicle authority and its stiffness increases.