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Development and Optimization for a New Planar Spring Using Finite Element Method, Deep Feedforward Neural Networks, and Water Cycle Algorithm

Development and Optimization for a New Planar Spring Using Finite Element Method, Deep Feedforward Neural Networks, and Water Cycle Algorithm

The gravity balance mechanism plays a vital role in maintaining the equilibrium for robots and assistive devices. The purpose of this paper was to optimize the geometry of a planar spring, which is an essential element of the gravity balance mechanism. To implement the optimization process, a hybrid method is proposed by combining the finite element method, the deep feedforward neural network, and the water cycle algorithm. Firstly, datasets are collected using the finite element method with a full experiment design. Secondly, the output datasets are normalized to eliminate the effects of the difference of units. Thirdly, the deep feedforward neural network is then employed to build the approximate models for the strain energy, deformation, and stress of the planar spring. Finally, the water cycle algorithm is used to optimize the dimensions of the planar spring. The results found that the optimal geometries of the spring include the length of 45 mm, the thickness of 1.029 mm, the width of 9 mm, and the radius of 0.3 mm. Besides, the predicted results determined that the strain energy, the deformation, and the stress are 0.01123 mJ, 33.666 mm, and 79.050 MPa, respectively. The errors between the predicted result and the verifying results for the strain energy, the deformation, and the stress are about 1.87%, 1.69%, and 3.06%, respectively.