Computational Design of Statically Balanced Planar Spring Mechanisms

Takuto Takahashi, Jonas Zehnder, Hiroshi G. Okuno, Shigeki Sugano, Stelian Coros, Bernhard Thomaszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Statically balanced spring mechanisms are used in many applications that support our daily lives. However, creating new designs is a challenging problem since the designer has to simultaneously determine the right number of springs, their connectivity, attachment points, and other parameters. We propose a novel optimization-driven approach for designing statically balanced mechanisms in an interactive, semi-automatic way. In particular, we describe an efficient method for design optimization based on the principle of constant potential energy, an automated sparsification method for spring topology design, and a null-space exploration scheme that enables user to navigate the local space of design alternatives. We demonstrate our design system on a set of simulation examples and several manufactured prototypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8767997
Pages (from-to)4438-4444
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct


  • development and prototyping
  • Mechanism design
  • product design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence

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  • Cite this

    Takahashi, T., Zehnder, J., Okuno, H. G., Sugano, S., Coros, S., & Thomaszewski, B. (2019). Computational Design of Statically Balanced Planar Spring Mechanisms. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 4(4), 4438-4444. [8767997].