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The variable stiffness actuator (VSA) is helpful to realize the post-collision safety strategies for safe human–robot interaction.1 The stiffness of the robot will be reduced to protect the user from injury when the collision between the robot and human occurs. However, The VSA has a mechanism limit constraint that can cause harm to users even if the stiffness is minimized. Accordingly, in this article, a concept combining danger index and robust fault detection and isolation is presented and applied to active–passive variable stiffness elastic actuator (APVSEA). APVSEA can actively change joint stiffness with the change of danger index. Experimental results show that this concept can effectively confirm the fault mode and provide additional protection measures to ensure the safety of users when the joint stiffness has been adjusted to the minimum.
In this research, the thermal transport behavior of the branched carbon nanotube (CNT) with T-junction was investigated using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulation. Both symmetric and asymmetric temperature-controlled simulations were imposed to evaluate how the heat flowed inside the branched CNT with three branches of equal length and same chirality. The branch length and strain effects on the heat flow were examined. In addition, the simulated heat flow was compared with the prediction made by conventional thermal circuit calculation based on diffusive phonon transport. The heat was observed to flow straight rather than sideway inside the branched CNT with T-junction under the asymmetric temperature setup; this finding contradicts the conventional thermal circuit calculation. There are two possible explanations for this phenomenon. One is ballistic phonon transport and the other is phonons have different interactions or scattering with the defective atomic configurations at the T-junction. Moreover, the tensile strain could tune the heat flow, a finding that might be useful in thermal management applications.