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Research Papers

A New Parallel Actuated Architecture for Exoskeleton Applications Involving Multiple Degree-of-Freedom Biological Joints

[+] Author and Article Information
Justin Hunt

School for Engineering of Matter,
Transport, and Energy,
Arizona State University,
Tempe, AZ 85281
e-mail: jphunt3@asu.edu

Hyunglae Lee

School for Engineering of Matter,
Transport, and Energy,
Arizona State University,
Tempe, AZ 85281
e-mail: Hyunglae.Lee@asu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received January 17, 2018; final manuscript received June 25, 2018; published online August 6, 2018. Assoc. Editor: K. H. Low.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(5), 051017 (Aug 06, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1018; doi: 10.1115/1.4040701 History: Received January 17, 2018; Revised June 25, 2018

The purpose of this work is to introduce a new parallel actuated exoskeleton architecture that can be used for multiple degree-of-freedom (DoF) biological joints. This is done in an effort to provide a better alternative for the augmentation of these joints than serial actuation. The new design can be described as a type of spherical parallel manipulator (SPM) that utilizes three 4 bar substructures to decouple and control three rotational DoFs. Four variations of the 4 bar spherical parallel manipulator (4B-SPM) are presented in this work. These include a shoulder, hip, wrist, and ankle exoskeleton. Also discussed are three different methods of actuation for the 4B-SPM, which can be implemented depending on dynamic performance requirements. This work could assist in the advancement of a future generation of parallel actuated exoskeletons that are more effective than their contemporary serial actuated counterparts.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Architecture of the 4B-SPM. The design consists of three substructures, each comprised of a 4 bar linkage connected to a grounded revolute joint. The top linkage in each 4 bar mechanism is extended to reach a mobile platform. Each top linkage is coupled to the mobile platform using a spherical joint. The mobile platform is capable of spherical motion about the point in which the axes of all three grounded revolute joints intersect.

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Fig. 2

Vector representation of the 4B-SPM. All vectors originate at the origin, but are drawn in a configuration similar to Fig. 1 to help the reader identify what each vector represents. The global origin frame is denoted by the RGB (xyz) frame shown at the center of the spherical workspace.

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Fig. 5

Vector representation of the 4B-SPM with the inclusion of two linear actuated sliders and two interconnecting linkages

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Fig. 8

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator wrist exoskeleton: (a) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three or six revolute motors as described in Secs. 2.1 and 2.4.1, respectively and (b) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three revolute motors and two linear actuators as described in Sec.2.4.2. The interconnecting linkages that slide up and down the outermost substructures via linear actuation are shown in blue to help distinguish them from the rest of the 4B-SPM.

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Fig. 3

Method of substructure roll actuation by the addition of three motors. Each of the three motor is fixed to the ground and coupled to the roll axis of each respective 4 bar mechanism.

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Fig. 4

Method of substructure roll actuation by the addition of two linear actuated sliders. The sliders are positioned on the outermost substructure with each coupled to the central substructure using interconnecting linkages mounted with spherical joints on either end.

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Fig. 6

Desired shoulder plate orientations corresponding to the three boundary arm configurations that define the workspace. These include: (a) arm at rest (φ=0, θ=π/2, and ψ=0 or φ=π/2, θ=π/2, and ψ=π/2), (b) 90 deg flexion (φ=π/2, θ=0, and ψ=π/2), and (c) 90 deg abduction (φ=0, θ=0, and ψ=π/2). For each arm configuration, the corresponding rotation matrix of the shoulder plate with respect to the global frame is shown.

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Fig. 7

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator ankle exoskeleton: (a) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three or six revolute motors as described in Secs. 2.1 and 2.4.1, respectively and (b) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three revolute motors and two linear actuators as described in Sec. 2.4.2. The interconnecting linkages that slide up and down the outermost substructures via linear actuation are shown in blue to help distinguish them from the rest of the 4B-SPM.

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Fig. 9

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator hip exoskeleton: (a) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three or six revolute motors as described in Secs. 2.1 and 2.4.1, respectively and (b) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three revolute motors and two linear actuators as described in Sec. 2.4.2. The interconnecting linkages that slide up and down the outermost substructures via linear actuation are shown in blue to help distinguish them from the rest of the 4B-SPM.

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Fig. 10

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator shoulder exoskeleton: (a) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three or six revolute motors as described in Secs. 2.1 and 2.4.1, respectively and (b) shows the 4B-SPM architecture used for three revolute motors and two linear actuators as described in Sec. 2.4.2. The interconnecting linkages that slide up and down the outermost substructures via linear actuation are shown in blue to help distinguish them from the rest of the 4B-SPM.

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Fig. 11

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator shoulder exoskeleton with a six motor configuration. Shown are back, side, and front views of the device.

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Fig. 12

Four-bar spherical parallel manipulator shoulder exoskeleton with a six motor configuration as described in Sec. 2.4.1. With this configuration, each of the three substructures consists of two motors: one for the pitch of the four bar mechanism and one for the roll. Noteworthy components are as follows: (a) revolute motor, (b) four bar mechanism, (c) shoulder plate, (d) arm cuff with one translational and one rotational passive DoF, and (f) Static Stewart-Gough platform for rigid positioning of adjacent actuated substructures.

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