Variable stiffness actuators (VSA) are finding wide applications in robotics to enhance safety during interactions with stiff environments. Researchers have proposed various design architectures like antagonistic actuation, which requires both the motors to be powered simultaneously for varying the stiffness or equilibrium position. In this paper, the design of a novel joint module, named as variable stiffness joint module (VSJM), is proposed, which consists of a lead-screw arrangement for varying the stiffness range and a cam based mechanism to change the stiffness within the set range quickly. The cam profile has been synthesized to maximize the stiffness variation as well as to maintain the cam and cam follower in static equilibrium when the output link is in the equilibrium position. This was achieved by properly positioning and orienting the friction cones at the contact points. By mechanically compensating the moment due to unbalanced forces at the contact points, the continuous usage of stiffness motor has been eliminated, leading to reduced power consumption. Details of the proposed mechanism are presented along with the mathematical model for cam profile synthesis and static analysis. A simplified prototype of the proposed design has been fabricated to perform the experiments. A hammering-a-nail experiment has been conducted to show the capability of the mechanism, and the results are presented. © 2013 IEEE.