A parallel and flexible meso-manipulator for finger rehabilitation treatments is presented in this paper. The work deals with the study of a meso-robotpsilas kinematic and dynamic peculiar behavior, aimed at allowing its application to muscular activity and tendon tension, in those patients with even a partial lack of the fingers functionality, for instance due to a stroke. As a result of its structural compliance, the meso-manipulator results particularly suitable for a rehabilitative application: after having coupled the manipulator to a common cloth-glove joined to the mobile platform of the robot, the patientpsilas finger can be driven to the required movement. As external loads can also be imposed to the involved tendons, the realized motion parts performed by the robot and by the patient can be quantified. In this way, the surgeon can constantly monitor the therapy trend, but also the patient has an objective quantification of his/her improvement.
"Parallel robots with flexure joints have also been studied, including and flexure-jointed 6 DOF platforms –, high-precision robots , , mechanisms for micro/nano-manipulation , , and 3 DOF translation platforms . In medical robotics, parallel robots with elastic actuation and flexure joints have been developed for rehabilitation , , and capsule endoscopy . Parallel continuum robots differ in that they exhibit large, nonlinear, link deflections by design, "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate continuum manipula-tors that are analogous to conventional rigid-link parallel robot designs. These " parallel continuum manipulators " have the potential to inherit some of the compactness and compliance of continuum robots while retaining some of the precision, stability , and strength of rigid-link parallel robots, yet they represent a relatively unexplored area of the broad manipulator design space. We describe the construction of a prototype manipulator structure with six compliant legs connected in a parallel pattern similar to that of a Stewart-Gough platform. We formulate the static forward and inverse kinematics problems for such manipulators as the solution to multiple Cosserat-rod models with coupled boundary conditions, and we test the accuracy of this approach in a set of experiments, including the prediction of leg buckling. An inverse kinematics simulation of slices through the 6 degree-of-freedom (DOF) workspace illustrates the kinematic mapping, range of motion, and force required for actuation, which sheds light on the potential advantages and tradeoffs that parallel continuum manipulators may bring. Potential applications include miniature wrists and arms for endoscopic medical procedures, and lightweight compliant arms for safe interaction with humans.
Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014 IEEE International Conference on; 09/2014
"Their actuation properties originate from a solid-state phase transformation, which is affected by changes in temperature or stress, and strain. SMA actuators are widely used in wire or spring configurations, but upcoming applications in, e.g., medical instrumentation or microsystems also demand more complex shapes  . However, designing SMA actuators is a challenging task, due to the complex material behavior and also electrical, thermal and mechanical aspects have to be considered simultaneously. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A prototype of an automatic micropositioning system was developed. This prototype uses a shape
memory alloy (SMA) actuator, a dedicated PI controller and a piece of software to command a desired motion profile for the actuator. The proposed micropositioning system is characterized by a 4 mm stroke, a 1 μm resolution and a 70 g nominal force and can be commanded directly from a personal computer and without human retroaction. The closed loop positioning resolution (1 μm) is obtained in spite of inaccurate system behaviour during its movement.
International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems 01/2013; 10(149):1-10. DOI:10.5772/55539 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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