Mechanical Necks with Humanlike Responses
A viscoelastic neck structure that responds to impact environments in a manner similar to the human neck is described. The neck structure consists of four ball-jointed segments and one pin-connected “nodding” segment with viscoelastic resistive elements inserted between segments that provide bending resistance as well as the required energy dissipation. Primary emphasis was placed on developing appropriate flexion and extension responses with secondary emphasis placed on axial, lateral, and rotational characteristics. The methods used to design the resistance elements for the neck structure are discussed. Three variations of the resistive elements have been developed that meet the response characteristics based on the data of Mertz and Patrick. However, no single resistive element has satisfied the flexion and extension characteristics simultaneously, but such an element appears to be feasible.