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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Robert Bogue

The purpose of this paper is to review recent developments in exoskeletons and robotic prosthetics.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review recent developments in exoskeletons and robotic prosthetics.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper first describes a number of recently developed exoskeletons for military, civil and medical applications. It then discusses robotic prosthetics and concludes with a brief consideration of progress in brain‐computer interface (BCI) technology.

Findings

Robotic exoskeletons are the topic of a major research effort, much being funded by the US military, and aims to impart superhuman strength to the wearer. Japanese research is also well advanced and concerns a range of non‐military applications, including strength enhancement and medical rehabilitation. Some products have recently been commercialised. There has also been significant progress in the development of robotic prosthetic limbs, a topic which is also attracting support from the US military. A key aim is the development of thought‐controlled prosthetics which will arise from advances in BCI technology.

Originality/value

This paper provides a detailed review of the latest developments in exoskeletons and robotic prosthetics.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 January 2015

Robert Bogue

– This article aims to provide details of recent robotic exoskeleton developments and applications.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to provide details of recent robotic exoskeleton developments and applications.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this article first considers some of the technological issues associated with an exoskeleton design. It then discusses military developments, industrial load-carrying applications and uses in healthcare. Progress in thought-controlled exoskeletons is discussed briefly, and finally, concluding comments are drawn.

Findings

This article shows that, while military interests continue, the dominant application is to restore or enhance mobility to individuals suffering from disabilities or injuries. An emerging use is to increase the strength and endurance of industrial workers. The majority are lower-limb devices, although some full-body exoskeletons have been developed, and most rely on battery-powered electric motors to create motion. Reflecting the anticipated growth in applications, exoskeletons are now available from, or under development by, a growing number of commercial organisations.

Originality/value

This provides an insight into the latest developments in robotic exoskeletons and their applications.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Alex M. Andrew

The purpose of this paper is to review developments on the internet, especially those of general cybernetic interest.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review developments on the internet, especially those of general cybernetic interest.

Design/methodology/approach

The need to reduce carbon emissions on account of the atmospheric greenhouse effect has recently been queried, but observations of effects on the oceans confirm its continuing importance. A means of viewing new buildings in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the site of origin of much of cybernetics, is indicated, as is also a remarkable development of an advanced prosthetic device. Sources of information about the recent WikiLeaks or “Cablegate” events are reviewed.

Findings

Effects of acidification on ocean biota are serious. New buildings on the MIT campus are not following the example of the bizarre Stata Center. The robotic exoskeleton is a valuable development made under unusual conditions. No attempt is made to judge ethics or long‐term effects of WikiLeaks activity but it is shown to be wide ranging and to be defended eloquently by its main operative.

Practical implications

The need to reduce carbon emissions is confirmed by studies of the oceans, probably among other factors. The exoskeleton development is a valuable addition to prosthetic technology as well as an example of what can be done with limited resources.

Originality/value

It is hoped this is a valuable periodic review.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Robert Bogue

– This article aims to discuss the potential of robots to assist the disabled and the elderly and to highlight some of the associated ethical issues.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to discuss the potential of robots to assist the disabled and the elderly and to highlight some of the associated ethical issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this considers robotic wheelchairs and exoskeletons, companion robots, assistive robots and household robots. This is followed by a short discussion of the ethical issues associated with their use.

Findings

This shows that many types of robots are available or under development which seek to aid the disabled and the elderly. Various as yet unresolved ethical issues have been raised regarding their use, most notably the potential problems arising from a reduction in human interactions.

Originality/value

In an era characterised by a growing elderly population, this article provides a timely review of robots aimed at assisting the elderly and disabled and gives some consideration of the ethical issues surrounding their use.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Saber Kazeminasab, Alireza Hadi, Khalil Alipour and Mohammad Elahinia

Many people suffer from injuries related to their hand. This research aims to focus on the improvement of the previously developed smart glove by using position and force…

Abstract

Purpose

Many people suffer from injuries related to their hand. This research aims to focus on the improvement of the previously developed smart glove by using position and force control algorithms. The new smart glove may be used for both physiotherapy and assistance.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed robot uses shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators coupled to an under-actuated tendon-driven mechanism. The proposed device, which is presented as a wearable glove attached to an actuation module, is capable of exerting extremely high forces to grasp objects in various hand configurations. The device’s performance is studied in physiotherapy and object manipulation tasks. In the physiotherapy mode, hand motion frequency is controlled, whereas the grasping force is controlled in the object manipulation mode. To simulate the proposed system behavior, the kinematic and dynamic equations of the proposed system have been derived.

Findings

The achieved results verify that the system is suitable to be used as part of a rehabilitation device in which it can flex and extend fingers with accurate trajectories and grasp objects efficiently. Specifically, it will be shown that using six SMA wires with the diameter of 0.25 mm, the proposed robot can provide 45 N gripping force for the patients.

Originality/value

The proposed robot uses SMA actuators and an under-actuated tendon-driven mechanism. The resulted robotic system, which is presented as a wearable glove attached to an actuation module, is capable of exerting extremely high force levels to grasp objects in various hand configurations. It is shown that the motion and exerted force of the robot may be controlled effectively in practice.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Qiming Chen, Hong Cheng, Rui Huang, Jing Qiu and Xinhua Chen

Lower-limb exoskeleton systems enable people with spinal cord injury to regain some degree of locomotion ability, as the expected motion curve needs to adapt with changing…

Abstract

Purpose

Lower-limb exoskeleton systems enable people with spinal cord injury to regain some degree of locomotion ability, as the expected motion curve needs to adapt with changing scenarios, i.e. stair heights, distance to the stairs. The authors’ approach enables exoskeleton systems to adapt to different scenarios in stair ascent task safely.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors learn the locomotion from predefined trajectories and walk upstairs by re-planning the trajectories according to external forces posed on exoskeleton systems. Moreover, instead of using complex sensors as inputs for re-planning in real-time, the approach can obtain forces acting on exoskeleton through dynamic model of human-exoskeleton system learned by an online machine learning approach without accurate parameters.

Findings

The proposed approach is validated in both simulation environment and a real walking assistance exoskeleton system. Experimental results prove that the proposed approach achieves better performance than the traditional predefined gait approach.

Originality/value

First, the approach obtain the external forces by a learned dynamic model of human-exoskeleton system, which reduces the cost of exoskeletons and avoids the heavy task of translating sensor input into actuator output. Second, the approach enables exoskeleton accomplish stair ascent task safely in different scenarios.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Iman Kardan and Alireza Akbarzadeh

This paper aims to overcome some of the practical difficulties in assistive control of exoskeletons by developing a new assistive algorithm, called output feedback…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to overcome some of the practical difficulties in assistive control of exoskeletons by developing a new assistive algorithm, called output feedback assistive control (OFAC) method. This method does not require feedbacks from force, electromyography (EMG) or acceleration signals or even their estimated values.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented controller uses feedbacks from position and velocity of the output link of series elastic actuators (SEAs) to increase the apparent integral admittance of the assisted systems. Optimal controller coefficients are obtained by maximizing the assistance ratio subjected to constraints of stability, coupled stability and a newly defined comfort measure.

Findings

The results confirm the effectiveness of using the inherent properties of SEAs for removing the need for extra controversial sensors in assistive control of 1 degree of freedom (1-DOF) SEA powered exoskeletons. The results also clearly indicate the successful performance of the OFAC method in reducing the external forces required for moving the assisted systems.

Practical implications

As the provided experiments indicate, the proposed method can be easily applied to single DOF compliantly actuated exoskeletons to provide a more reliable assistance with lower costs. This is achieved by removing the need for extra controversial sensors.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a novel assistive controller for SEA-powered exoskeletons with a simple model-free structure and independent of any information about interaction forces and future paths of the system. It also removes the requirement for the extra sensors and transforms the assistive control of the compliantly actuated systems into a simpler problem of position control of the SEA motor.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2021

Sara Gusmao Brissi, Oscar Wong Chong, Luciana Debs and Jiansong Zhang

The purpose is two-fold: (1) to explore the interactions of robotic systems and lean construction in the context of offsite construction (OC) that were addressed in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is two-fold: (1) to explore the interactions of robotic systems and lean construction in the context of offsite construction (OC) that were addressed in the literature published between 2008 and 2019 and (2) to identify the gaps in such interactions while discussing how addressing those gaps can benefit not only OC but the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a systematic literature review (SLR) identified journal papers addressing the interactions of automation and lean in OC. Then, the researchers focused the analysis on the under-researched subtopic of robotic systems. The focused analysis includes discussing the interactions identified in the SLR through a matrix of interactions and utilizing literature beyond the previously identified articles for future research directions on robotic systems and lean construction in OC.

Findings

The study found 35 journal papers that addressed automation and lean in the context of OC. Most of the identified literature focused on interactions of BIM and lean construction, while only nine focused on the interactions of robotic systems and lean construction. Identified literature related to robotic systems mainly addressed robots and automated equipment. Additional interactions were identified in the realm of wearable devices, unmanned aerial vehicles/automated guided vehicles and digital fabrication/computer numerical control (CNC) machines.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies dedicated to exploring the interactions of robotic systems and lean construction in OC. Also, it proposes a categorization for construction automation and a matrix of interactions between construction automation and lean construction.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to provide details of the emerging families of robotic exoskeletons that are aimed at industrial applications.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide details of the emerging families of robotic exoskeletons that are aimed at industrial applications.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this paper considers the reasons for, and benefits of, using robotic exoskeletons in industrial applications. The paper then discusses a range of products and developments and their applications. Finally, brief concluding comments are drawn.

Findings

Following earlier military and medical developments, recent years have seen a huge upsurge in interest in industrial robotic exoskeletons. A new generation of products are under development in the USA, the Europe and the Far East by a growing number of companies, and some have entered production. The aim of developing industrial robotic exoskeletons is to assist workers in physically demanding tasks and, thus, reduce the incidence of industrial injuries and associated financial consequences. Several applications have been reported, most notably in the Far East, across a diverse range of industries.

Originality/value

New families of robotic exoskeletons are being developed, and these are poised to exert a major impact on many industries and constitute a significant market opportunity. This paper provides a timely insight into these developments.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Abhinav Chadha, Mir Irfan Ul Haq, Ankush Raina, Rana Ratna Singh, Narendra Babu Penumarti and Manjeet Singh Bishnoi

This paper aims to explore the effect of bed temperature, primary layer thickness and infill pattern (rectilinear, honeycomb, triangular) on the mechanical properties of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the effect of bed temperature, primary layer thickness and infill pattern (rectilinear, honeycomb, triangular) on the mechanical properties of tensile strength and bending strength of 3D printed parts.

Design/methodology/approach

Samples in accordance to various ASTM standards were printed by fused deposition modelling (FDM) method by varying the various input paramaters such as bed temperature, primary layer thickness and infill pattern (rectilinear, honeycomb, triangular). Tensile and bending testing was carried out on the printed parts, and post to the testing, fractography has been carried out using scanning electron microscope.

Findings

With increase in bed temperature tensile strength and flexural strength first increases then decreases. With the increase in primary layer thickness, tensile strength and flexural strength increase. With regard to infill patterns, triangular and honeycomb exhibit better tensile strength and better flexural strength.

Practical implications

The 3D printing is increasingly becoming important for manufacturing of engineering parts, determining the process parameters which could result in better mechanical and physical properties shall certainly help designers and manufacturers globally.

Originality/value

This work elucidates the effect of various process parameters of FDM on tensile and flexural properties of the samples.

Details

World Journal of Engineering, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1708-5284

Keywords

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