Posts Tagged Springs
[Abstract] An Elbow Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Rehabilitation With Series Elastic Actuator and Cable-Driven Differential
Movement impairments resulting from neurologic injuries, such as stroke, can be treated with robotic exoskeletons that assist with movement retraining. Exoskeleton designs benefit from low impedance and accurate torque control. We designed a two-degrees-of-freedom tethered exoskeleton that can provide independent torque control on elbow flexion/extension and forearm supination/pronation. Two identical series elastic actuators (SEAs) are used to actuate the exoskeleton. The two SEAs are coupled through a novel cable-driven differential. The exoskeleton is compact and lightweight, with a mass of 0.9 kg. Applied rms torque errors were less than 0.19 Nm. Benchtop tests demonstrated a torque rise time of approximately 0.1 s, a torque control bandwidth of 3.7 Hz, and an impedance of less than 0.03 Nm/° at 1 Hz. The controller can simulate a stable maximum wall stiffness of 0.45 Nm/°. The overall performance is adequate for robotic therapy applications and the novelty of the design is discussed.
Stroke patients often have inappropriate finger flexor activation and finger extensor weakness, which makes it difficult to open their affected hand for functional grasp. The goal was to develop a passive, lightweight, wearable device to enable improved hand function during performance of activities of daily living. The device, HandSOME II, assists with opening the patient’s hand using 11 elastic actuators that apply extension torques to finger and thumb joints. Device design and initial testing are described. A novel mechanical design applies forces orthogonal to the finger segments despite the fact that all of the device DOFs are not aligned with human joint DOF. In initial testing with seven stroke subjects with impaired hand function, use of HandSOME II significantly increased maximum extension angles and range of motion in all of the index finger joints (P<0.05). HandSOME II allows performance of all the grip patterns used in daily activities and can be used as part of home-based therapy programs.