Compliance criteria is used to evaluate the general class of over-running clutches to determine which type is best suited to benefit from compliance. The criteria used in the evaluation include the presence and amount of revolution of revolute joints, the possibility for part count reduction, the presence of springs, possible reduction in weight, and the method of clutch engagement. The ratchet and pawl type of over-running clutch was shown to be the most promising. Within this type of over-running clutch, different designs incorporating bending, tension, and compression loading of the pawls were explored to determine the best method for loading the pawls. The clutches were compared using a ratio of the maximum output torque to over-running torque. It was determined that the clutch incorporating rigid pawls loaded in compression produced the largest ratio of output torque to over-running torque. The maximum output torque for this clutch was measured at 65.6 N-m and the over-running torque was measured at 0.011 N-m yielding a ratio of 5964.

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