Characterizing architectures of soft pneumatic actuators for a cable-driven shoulder exoskeleton

Nicholas Thompson, Ayush Sinha, Girish Krishnan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Low weight and innate compliance make soft pneumatic actuators an attractive method for actuating wearable robots. Performance of soft pneumatic actuators can be tailored to an application by combining them in novel architectures. We modeled and constructed nested linear and pennate architectures using fiber-reinforced elastomeric enclosures (FREEs) with identical manufacturing parameters and total effective lengths to compare their suitability for a cable-driven exoskeleton for augmenting shoulder flexion. We determined actuator performance requirements using a static model for the transmission of actuator forces to the upper arm via Bowden cables. We experimentally characterized the architectures by measuring their force-displacement curves at a range of pressures, yielding greater force and displacement from the nested architecture in the domain required by our exoskeleton. Results also indicated a force threshold above which the pennate structure produced greater force at any given displacement. We validated the nested linear architecture using a prototype exoskeleton installed on a passive mannequin. Measured joint angles at varying pressures were close to predicted values, adjusted for measured losses due to cable anchor movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages570-576
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538660263
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Event2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 20 2019May 24 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Volume2019-May
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period5/20/195/24/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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