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Actionneur Différentiel-Élastique / Differential Elastic Actuator (Patent pending)

Équipe / Team

  • Marc-Antoine Legault
  • Marc-André Lavoie
  • Philippe Fauteux
  • Michel Lauria


The implementation of machines able to precisely control interaction with its environment begins with the use of actuators specially designed for that purpose. To that effect, a new compact implementation design for high performance actuators that are especially adapted for integration in robotic mechanisms has been developed. This design makes use of a mechanical differential as central element. Differential coupling between an intrinsically high impedance transducer and an intrinsically low impedance spring element provides the same benefits as serial coupling. However differential coupling allows new interesting design implementations possibilities, especially for rotational actuators.




  • Ongoing project


Video showing our 3DOF arm using three Differential Elastic Actuators (in english)

Video of a gravity compensation experiment with one Differential Elastic Actuator (in french)


  1. Lauria, M., Legault, M.-A., Lavoie, M.-A., Michaud, F. (2008) “Differential elastic actuator for robotic interaction tasks,” Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Pasadena, USA. (pdf)
  2. Lauria, M., Fauteux, Ph., Legault, M.-A., Lavoie, M.-A., Michaud, F. (2008) “Differential elastic actuator for robotic interaction tasks,” in Proceedings of Actuator 2008, 11th International Conference on New Actuators, Bremen, Germany. (pdf)
  3. Lauria, M., Legault, M.-A., Lavoie, M.-A., Giguère P., Gagnon, F., Michaud, F., «High Performance Differential Actuator for Robotic Interaction Tasks», United States Patent Application number 694123, March 31, 2007.
  4. Legault, M.-A. (2007), "Développement d’un actionneur différentiel élastique", Mémoire de maîtrise, Département de génie mécanique, Université de Sherbrooke, mars.
  5. Lauria, M., Legault, M.-A., Michaud, F., (2007), “High performance differential elastic actuator for robotic interaction tasks”, Proceedings American Association for Artificial Intelligence Spring Symposium on Multidisciplinary Collaboration for Socially Assistive Robotics, Stanford, March. (pdf)