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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Soft Elbow Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Assistance Incorporating Dual Motor-Tendon Actuator

1
Center for Biomechanics, Biomaterial, Biomechatronics, and Biosignal Processing (CBIOM3S), Diponegoro University, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
2
Semarang State Polytechnic, Jalan Prof. Soedarto, SH. Tembalang, Semarang, Central Java 50275, Indonesia
3
Department of Automatic Control and Robotics, AGH University of Science and Technology, Al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
4
Faculty of Integrated Technologies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(10), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8101184
Received: 6 September 2019 / Revised: 12 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Biomedical Circuits and Systems)
Loss of muscle functions, such as the elbow, can affect the quality of life of a person. This research is aimed at developing an affordable two DOF soft elbow exoskeleton incorporating a dual motor-tendon actuator. The soft elbow exoskeleton can be used to assist two DOF motions of the upper limb, especially elbow and wrist movements. The exoskeleton is developed using fabric for the convenience purpose of the user. The dual motor-tendon actuator subsystem employs two DC motors coupled with lead-to-screw converting motion from angular into linear motion. The output is connected to the upper arm hook on the soft exoskeleton elbow. With this mechanism, the proposed actuator system is able to assist two DOF movements for flexion/extension and pronation/supination motion. Proportional-Integral (PI) control is implemented for controlling the motion. The optimized value of Kp and Ki are 200 and 20, respectively. Based on the test results, there is a slight steady-state error between the first and the second DC motor. When the exoskeleton is worn by a user, it gives more steady-state errors because of the load from the arm weight. The test results demonstrate that the proposed soft exoskeleton elbow can be worn easily and comfortably by a user to assist two DOF for elbow and wrist motion. The resulted range of motion (ROM) for elbow flexion–extension can be varied from 90° to 157°, whereas the maximum of ROM that can be achieved for pronation and supination movements are 19° and 18°, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: elbow soft exoskeleton; dual motor-tendon actuator; PI control; flexion/extension; pronation/supination elbow soft exoskeleton; dual motor-tendon actuator; PI control; flexion/extension; pronation/supination
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Ismail, R.; Ariyanto, M.; Perkasa, I.A.; Adirianto, R.; Putri, F.T.; Glowacz, A.; Caesarendra, W. Soft Elbow Exoskeleton for Upper Limb Assistance Incorporating Dual Motor-Tendon Actuator. Electronics 2019, 8, 1184.

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