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Proceedings Paper

Exploring dielectric elastomers as actuators for hand tremor suppression
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Paper Abstract

Pathological tremor results in undesired motion of body parts, with the greatest effect typically occurring in the hands. Since common treatment methods are ineffective in some patients or have risks associated with surgery or side effects, researchers are investigating mechanical means of tremor suppression. This work explores the viability of dielectric elastomers as the actuators in a tremor suppression control system. Dielectric elastomers have many properties similar to human muscle, making them a natural fit for integration into the human biomechanical system. This investigation develops a model of the integrated wrist-actuator system to determine actuator parameters that produce the necessary control authority without significantly affecting voluntary motion. Furthermore, this paper develops a control law for the actuator voltage to increase the effective viscous damping of the system. Simulations show excellent theoretical tremor suppression, demonstrating the potential for dielectric elastomers to suppress tremor while maximizing compatibility between the actuator and the human body.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 April 2017
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 1016322 (17 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258735
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher R. Kelley, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Jeffrey L. Kauffman, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10163:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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