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Title: A novel compact compliant actuator design for rehabilitation robots
Authors: Yu, H.
Huang, S. 
Thakor, N.V.
Chen, G.
Toh, S.-L.
Sta Cruz, M.
Ghorbel, Y.
Zhu, C.
Keywords: compliant actuator
Human robot interaction
rehabilitation robotics
variable impedance
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Yu, H.,Huang, S.,Thakor, N.V.,Chen, G.,Toh, S.-L.,Sta Cruz, M.,Ghorbel, Y.,Zhu, C. (2013). A novel compact compliant actuator design for rehabilitation robots. IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics : -. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Rehabilitation robots have direct physical interaction with human body. Ideally, actuators for rehabilitation robots should be compliant, force controllable, and back drivable due to safety and control considerations. Various designs of Series Elastic Actuators (SEA) have been developed for these applications. However, current SEA designs face a common performance limitation due to the compromise on the spring stiffness selection. This paper presents a novel compact compliant force control actuator design for portable rehabilitation robots to overcome the performance limitations in current SEAs. Our design consists of a servomotor, a ball screw, a torsional spring between the motor and the ball screw, and a set of translational springs between the ball screw nut and the external load. The soft translational springs are used to handle the low force operation and reduce output impedance, stiction, and external shock load. The torsional spring, being in the high speed range, has high effective stiffness and improves the system bandwidth in large force operation when the translational springs are fully compressed. This design is also more compact due to the smaller size of the springs. We explain the construction and the working principle of our new design, followed by the dynamic modeling and analysis of the actuator. We also show the preliminary testing results of a prototype actuator designed for a lower limb exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation. © 2013 IEEE.
Source Title: IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
ISBN: 9781467360241
ISSN: 19457898
DOI: 10.1109/ICORR.2013.6650478
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