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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Riaan Stopforth

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mechanical, kinematic and biological aspects that would be required for a customized upper limb exoskeleton prototype operation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mechanical, kinematic and biological aspects that would be required for a customized upper limb exoskeleton prototype operation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research contained a literature survey, design, simulation, development and testing of an exoskeleton arm.

Findings

An adjustable/customizable exoskeleton arm was developed with a kinematic model to allow the desired motion. Tests were performed to determine the feasibility of the system.

Originality/value

The paper shows how the authors researched, designed and developed an exoskeleton arm that had similar mechanical properties to those of a biological arm. The exoskeleton must allow customization and be adaptable to the operator, without the need for major alterations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2022

Aman Arora, Debadrata Sarkar, Arunabha Majumder, Soumen Sen and Shibendu Shekhar Roy

This paper aims to devise a first-of-its-kind methodology to determine the design, operating conditions and actuation strategy of pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to devise a first-of-its-kind methodology to determine the design, operating conditions and actuation strategy of pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) for assistive robotic applications. This requires extensive characterization, data set generation and meaningful modelling between PAM characteristics and design variables. Such a characterization should cover a wide range of design and operation parameters. This is a stepping stone towards generating a design guide for this highly popular compliant actuator, just like any conventional element of a mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

Characterization of a large pool of custom fabricated PAMs of varying designs is performed to determine their static and dynamic behaviours. Metaheuristic optimizer-based artificial neural network (ANN) structures are used to determine eight different models representing PAM behaviour. The assistance of knee flexion during level walking is targeted for evaluating the applicability of the developed actuator by attaching a PAM across the joint. Accordingly, the PAM design and the actuation strategy are optimized through a tabletop emulator.

Findings

The dependence of passive length, static contraction, dynamic step response for inflation and deflation of the PAMs on their design dimensions and operating parameters is successfully modelled by the ANNs. The efficacy of these models is investigated to successfully optimize the PAM design, operation parameters and actuation strategy for using a PAM in assisting knee flexion in human gait.

Originality/value

Characterization of static and the dynamic behaviour of a large pool of PAMs with varying designs over a wide range of operating conditions is the novel feature in this article. A lucid customizable fabrication technique is discussed to obtain a wide variety of PAM designs. Metaheuristic-based ANNs are used for tackling high non-linearity in data while modelling the PAM behaviour. An innovative tabletop emulator is used for investigating the utility of the models in the possible application of PAMs in assistive robotics.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

M. Sreekumar, T. Nagarajan, M. Singaperumal, M. Zoppi and R. Molfino

The purpose of this paper is to review the current application areas of shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators in intelligent robotic systems and devices.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the current application areas of shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators in intelligent robotic systems and devices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses how actuation and sensing functions of the SMA actuator have been exploited and incorporated in micro and macro robotic devices, developed for medical and non‐medical applications. The speed of response of SMA actuator mostly depends upon its shape and size, addition and removal of heat and the bias force applied. All these factors have impact on the overall size of the robotic device and the degree of freedom (dof) obtained and hence, a comprehensive survey is made highlighting these aspects. Also described are the mechatronic aspects like the software and hardware used in an industrial environment for the control of such nonlinear actuator and the type of sensory feedback devices incorporated for obtaining better control, positioning accuracy and fast response.

Findings

SMA actuators find wide applications in various facets of robotic equipments. Selecting a suitable shape, fast heating and cooling method and better intelligent control technique with or without feedback devices could optimize its performance.

Research limitations/implications

The frequency of SMA actuation purely depends on the rate of heat energy added to and removed from the actuator, which in turn depends upon interrelated nonlinear parameters.

Practical implications

For increasing the dof of robots, number of actuators also have to be increased that leads to complex control problems.

Originality/value

Explains the suitability of SMA as actuators in smart robotic systems, possibility of miniaturisation. It also highlights the difficulties faced by the SMA research community.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Mary Jo Deegan

People subjectively engage in the production and reproduction of what constitutes “feeling normal.” Objective standards of normalcy for the able-bodied are created and…

Abstract

People subjectively engage in the production and reproduction of what constitutes “feeling normal.” Objective standards of normalcy for the able-bodied are created and maintained by institutions (e.g., medicine, the state, business, the mass media, and family), and these standards are learned by individuals who socialize the next generation in a continuous cycle. Having a disability does not exempt a person from standards and values of “able-bodied normalcy,” nor does it prevent her/him from reproducing these standards for future generations. Thus, it is possible, if not probable, that persons with disabilities live in and reproduce the able-bodied lifeworld, sustaining, what is for the person with a physical disability, an unattainable standard of normalcy. Approximating and ultimately achieving “normalcy” in this situation or at least the presentation of “normalcy” (Goffman, 1959, 1963) may occupy a sizeable portion of everyday life. More importantly here, “feeling normal” emerges when the social constructions of reality allows the person with a physical disability to be part of a generation and everyday life. There is, in other words, a “frame” for defining normality, and physical disability is a key to changing this frame (Goffman, 1974).

Details

Disability as a Fluid State
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-377-5

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Richard Bloss

The purpose of this paper is to review the recent advancements in the development of wearable sensors which can continuously monitor critical medical, assess athletic…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the recent advancements in the development of wearable sensors which can continuously monitor critical medical, assess athletic activity, watch babies and serve industrial applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents an in-depth review of a number of developments in wearable sensing and monitoring technologies for medical, athletic and industrial applications. Researchers and companies around the world were contacted to discuss their direction and progress in this field of medical condition and industrial monitoring, as well as discussions with medical personnel on the perceived benefits of such technology.

Findings

Dramatic progress is being made in continuous monitoring of many important body functions that indicate critical medical conditions that can be life-threatening, contribute to blindness or access activity. In the industrial arena, wearable devices bring remote monitoring to a new level.

Practical implications

Doctors will be able to replace one-off tests with continuous monitoring that provides a much better continuous real-time “view” into the patient’s conditions. Wearable monitors will help provide much better medical care in the future. Industrial managers and others will be able to monitor and supervise remotely.

Originality/value

An expert insight into advancements in medical condition monitoring that replaces the one-time “finger prick” type testing only performed in the doctor’s office. It is also a look at how wearable monitoring is greatly improved and serving athletics, the industry and parents.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2011

Cynthia E. Schairer

Purpose – This chapter argues that assistive technology itself, rather than a shared disabled identity, can be the basis for peer interaction and therefore serve as the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter argues that assistive technology itself, rather than a shared disabled identity, can be the basis for peer interaction and therefore serve as the basis for community. Specifically, prosthetic technology serves as a point of connection between amputees of different backgrounds.

Methodology – Data are from 20 in-depth qualitative interviews with a diverse group of men and women who lost legs or feet since 2002. The analysis of these interviews is enriched by ethnographic observation of support groups, mobility clinics, and visits to rehabilitation facilities.

Findings – Despite misgivings about support groups and socializing with others simply because of shared impairment, respondents reported connecting with peers through trading technical information and insights into prosthesis use. Thus, the notion of community may be most clearly understood in terms of interaction with shared objects and environments rather than shared identity.

Limitations – As with most qualitative studies, the findings here cannot be generalized to the greater amputee population in the United States.

Practical implications – The findings suggest that groups organized around activities that help people learn prosthetic legs can be the basis for community.

Social implications – This example suggests that communities of users can be a unique source of technical information about assistive technology that professionals cannot necessarily provide.

Value of paper – The analysis brings a unique perspective to the question of community and disability by drawing on sources from science and technology studies to theorize communities of users of assistive technology.

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Christine Connolly

The purpose of this paper is to study the innovative design of prosthetic hands now in production from a Scottish spin‐off company.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the innovative design of prosthetic hands now in production from a Scottish spin‐off company.

Design/methodology/approach

The novel features are described, followed by the details of the mechanical construction and the available grip patterns. The benefits of the modular design are explained, and the function and construction of a skin‐like covering are explored. The clinical network supporting the prosthesis is briefly outlined.

Findings

The design allows patients to achieve many functional and natural‐looking hand configurations from simple “open” and “close” signals. Miniature motors and gearboxes allow independent movement of each digit, and an integral microprocessor translates electric signals from the forearm to control the movements of the hand. Stall detection ensures that no finger exerts excessive force or wastes power. Artificial skin can be very realistic, with imitation fingernails, hairs and pores. The lifelike prosthesis helps the patient emotionally, socially and at work.

Originality/value

The paper shows how advances in motors, gearboxes, batteries and electronics have enabled a breakthrough in prosthetic design.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

221

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Article
Publication date: 13 October 2022

Smitkumar Savsani, Shamsher Singh and Harlal Singh Mali

Medical devices are undergoing rapid changes because of the increasing affordability of advanced technologies like additive manufacturing (AM) and three-dimensional…

Abstract

Purpose

Medical devices are undergoing rapid changes because of the increasing affordability of advanced technologies like additive manufacturing (AM) and three-dimensional scanning. New avenues are available for providing solutions and comfort that were not previously conceivable. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review of the research on developing prostheses using AM to understand the opportunities and challenges in the domain. Various studies on prosthesis development using AM are investigated to explore the scope of integration of AM in prostheses development.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of key publications from the past two decades was conducted. Integration of AM and prostheses development is reviewed from the technologies, materials and functionality point of view to identify challenges, opportunities and future scope.

Findings

AM in prostheses provides superior physical and cognitive ergonomics and reduced cost and delivery time. Patient-specific, lightweight solutions for complex designs improve comfort, functionality and clinical outcomes. Compared to existing procedures and methodologies, using AM technologies in prosthetics could benefit a large population.

Originality/value

This paper helps investigate the impact of AM and related technology in the field of prosthetics and can also be viewed as a collection of relevant medical research and findings.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1980

MW THRING

Humanoid machines are built either to save money in manufacture of for humane reasons such as safety, elimination of boredom, extension of human skills and hygiene…

Abstract

Humanoid machines are built either to save money in manufacture of for humane reasons such as safety, elimination of boredom, extension of human skills and hygiene. Sceptrology is the technology of crutches or artificial limbs. Telechirs are machines that can put the hand‐eye coordinated skill of a trained craftsman at the other end of a cable. They will have great application for mining or undersea work. Robots are pre‐programmed by a human but can do a wide range of manipulative tasks. They will have very limited application.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

1 – 10 of 660