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Necessary dielectric elastomer parameters for wearable tremor suppression
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Paper Abstract

Recent research proposes dielectric elastomers as actuators for mechanical suppression of pathological tremor. Dielectric elastomers offer several advantages compared to traditional actuators, including decreased weight, smaller profile, reduced rigidity, and better scalability. The similarities between dielectric elastomers and human muscle enable application of the actuators in a bio-inspired approach, where external artificial muscles directly actuate against tremor produced by the underlying human muscle. Two approaches exist for dielectric-elastomerbased tremor suppression: fully-active and tremor-active. In the fully-active approach, the dielectric elastomer actuators must actuate against tremor while also activating to follow the voluntary motion of the joint. In contrast, the tremor-active approach only requires activation against the tremor; the human sensorimotor system compensates for the passive dynamics of the dielectric elastomers. The tremor-active approach is unique to dielectric-elastomer-based tremor suppression since the soft actuators can have mechanical impedances on the same order or less than that of the human body. These two approaches have tradeoffs between actuation and viscoelastic requirements: the tremor-active approach decreases the actuation requirements, but applies limitations to the stiffness and viscoelastic characteristics of the actuator. This paper quantifies the necessary actuator parameters to achieve acceptable tremor suppression performance for each approach. The necessary parameters are normalized by joint parameters to generalize the results for tremor suppression about any joint.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2019
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 10966, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI, 109661T (13 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2514335
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. 10966:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XXI
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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