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Design and Preliminary Testing of a Continuum Assistive Robotic Manipulator

by Ryan Coulson 1,2,†, Megan Robinson 1,3,†, Max Kirkpatrick 1,4,† and Devin R. Berg 1,*
1
Engineering & Technology Department, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI 54751, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA 10842, USA
3
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Robotics 2019, 8(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8040084
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 16 September 2019 / Accepted: 23 September 2019 / Published: 26 September 2019
Background: The application of continuum manipulators as assistive robots is discussed and tested through the use of Bendy ARM, a simple manually teleoperated tendon driven continuum manipulator prototype. Methods: Two rounds of user testing were performed to evaluate the potential of this arm to aid people living with disabilities in completing activities of daily living. Results: In the first round of user testing, 14 able-bodied subjects successfully completed the prescribed task (pick-and-place) using multiple control schemes after being given a brief introduction and one minute of practice with each scheme. In the second round of user testing, subjects ( n = 3 ) demonstrated between 29.5 and 48.9 percent improvement in completion time across twelve trials of a peg-in-hole task, and between 8.4 and 33.8 percent improvement across six trials of a task involving opening and closing a drawer. Conclusion: Based on these results, it is posited that continuum manipulators merit further consideration as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to existing commercially available assistive robotic manipulators. View Full-Text
Keywords: continuum manipulators; assistive technology; robot design; user testing; assistive robot continuum manipulators; assistive technology; robot design; user testing; assistive robot
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Coulson, R.; Robinson, M.; Kirkpatrick, M.; Berg, D.R. Design and Preliminary Testing of a Continuum Assistive Robotic Manipulator. Robotics 2019, 8, 84.

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/EZFKN
    Description: All project documentation including code, solid models, media, etc.
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