Prototyping a robotic dental testing simulator

K Alemzadeh, RA Hyde, J Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A parallel robot based on the Stewart platform is being developed to simulate jaw motion and investigate its effect on jaw function to test the wearing away of dental components such as individual teeth, crowns, bridges, full set of dentures, and implant-supported over-dentures by controlling chewing motion. The current paper only describes the comparison between an alternative configuration proposed by Xu and the Stewart platform configuration. The Stewart platform was chosen as an ideal structure for simulating human mastication as it is easily assembled, has high rigidity, high load-carrying capacity, and accurate positioning capability. The kinematics and singularities of the Stewart platform have been analysed and software developed to (a) test the control algorithms/strategy of muscle movement for the six degree of freedom of mastication cycle and (b) simulate and observe various design options to be able to make the best judgement in product development. The human replica skull has been analysed and reverse engineered with further simplification before integration with the Stewart platform computer-aided design (CAD) to develop the robotic dental testing simulator. Assembly modelling of the reproduced skull was critically analysed for good occlusion in CAD environment. A pulse-width modulation (PWM) circuit plus interface was built to control position and speed of the chosen actuators. A computer numerical control (CNC) machine and wire-electro-discharge machining (wire EDM) were used to manufacture the critical parts such as lower mandible, upper maxilla, and universal joints.
Translated title of the contributionPrototyping a robotic dental testing simulator
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385 - 396
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Volume221 (4)
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher: IMechE


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