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Design of a 3D printed lightweight orthotic device based on twisted and coiled polymer muscle: iGrab hand orthosis
Author(s): Lokesh Saharan; Ashvath Sharma; Monica Jung de Andrade; Ray H. Baughman; Yonas Tadesse
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Paper Abstract

Partial or total upper extremity impairment affects the quality of life of a vast number of people due to stroke, neuromuscular disease, or trauma. Many researchers have presented hand orthosis to address the needs of rehabilitation or assistance on upper extremity function. Most of the devices available commercially and in literature are powered by conventional actuators such as DC motors, servomotors or pneumatic actuators. Some prototypes are developed based on shape memory alloy (SMA) and dielectric elastomers (DE). This study presents a customizable, 3D printed, a lightweight exoskeleton (iGrab) based on recently reported Twisted and Coiled Polymer (TCP) muscles, which are lightweight, provide high power to weight ratio and large stroke. We used silver coated nylon 6, 6 threads to make the TCP muscles, which can be easily actuated electrothermally. We reviewed briefly hand orthosis created with various actuation technologies and present our design of tendon-driven exoskeleton with the muscles confined in the forearm area. A single muscle is used to facilitate the motion of all three joints namely DIP (Distal interphalangeal), PIP (Proximal Interphalangeal) and MCP (Metacarpophalangeal) using passive tendons though circular rings. The grasping capabilities, along with TCP muscle properties utilized in the design such as life cycle, actuation under load and power inputs are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2017
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10164, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2017, 1016428 (11 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260266
Show Author Affiliations
Lokesh Saharan, The Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)
Ashvath Sharma, The Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)
Monica Jung de Andrade, The Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)
Ray H. Baughman, The Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)
Yonas Tadesse, The Univ. of Texas at Dallas (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10164:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2017
Gyuhae Park, Editor(s)

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