A Novel Soft Elbow Exosuit to Supplement Bicep Lifting Capacity

Carly M. Thalman, Quoc P. Lam, Pham H. Nguyen, Saivimal Sridar, Panagiotis Polygerinos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper investigates the design of a soft elbow exosuit capable of providing supplemental lifting assistance by reducing muscle activity of the bicep muscle. The aim is to improve the efficiency and endurance of workers who are tasked with repetitive lifting. The design consists of an array of pneumatically pressurized soft actuators, which are encased in nylon fabric that allows for a high force-to-weight ratio of 211.SN/g. An analytical model governing the bending behavior of two consecutive actuators and torque generated by the exosuit is developed, with test results showing less than 10% error from the theoretical model. An elbow joint torque value of 27.6N.m is achieved at 300kPa, which is comparable to the 30N.m maximum set by OSHA requirements in the USA. Further testing with a healthy participant is performed using surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors and a motion capture system to assess the capabilities of the exosuit to provide active assistance to the bicep during isometric and concentric contractions. Measurable assistance to lifting is observed with minimal obstruction to the user's range of motion for all experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages6965-6971
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538680940
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 1 2018Oct 5 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Conference

Conference2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2018
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period10/1/1810/5/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

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