Upper limb mobility impairments affect individuals at all life stages. Exoskeletons can assist in rehabilitation as well as performing Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Most commercial assistive devices still rely on rigid robotics with constrained biomechanical degrees of freedom that may even increase user exertion. Therefore, this paper discusses the iterative design and development of a novel hybrid pneumatic actuation and Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) based wearable soft exoskeleton to assist in shoulder abduction and horizontal flexion/extension movements, with integrated soft strain sensing to track shoulder joint motion. The garment development was done in two stages which involved creating (1) SMA actuators integrated with soft sensing, and (2) integrating pneumatic actuation. The final soft exoskeleton design was developed based on the insights gained from two prior prototypes in terms of wearability, usability, comfort, and functional specifications (i.e., placement and number) of the sensors and actuators. The final exoskeleton is a modular, multilayer garment which uses a hybrid and customizable actuation strategy (SMA and inflatable pneumatic bladder).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||ISWC 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Sep 21 2020|
|Event||25th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States|
Duration: Sep 21 2021 → Sep 26 2021
|Name||Proceedings - International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC|
|Conference||25th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2021|
|Period||9/21/21 → 9/26/21|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Esther Foo, Walter Lee, Ellen Dupler, and Miles Priebe. This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation under grants #1722738, #1722540, and #1722596.
© 2021 Owner/Author.
- Soft Exoskeleton
- Soft robotics
- Wearable Technology