0
Design Innovation Paper

A Fabric-Based Wearable Soft Robotic Limb

[+] Author and Article Information
Xinquan Liang

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
4 Engineering Drive 3, #04-08,
Singapore 117583, Singapore;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
9 Engineering Drive 1, #07-08,
Singapore 117575, Singapore
e-mail: bielxin@nus.edu.sg

Haris Cheong

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
4 Engineering Drive 3, #04-08,
Singapore 117583, Singapore
e-mail: haris.cheong@u.nus.edu

Chee Kong Chui

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
9 Engineering Drive 1, #07-08,
Singapore 117575, Singapore
e-mail: mpecck@nus.edu.sg

Chen-Hua Yeow

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
4 Engineering Drive 3, #04-08,
Singapore 117583, Singapore
e-mail: rayeow@nus.edu.sg

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received May 7, 2018; final manuscript received February 13, 2019; published online April 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Robert J. Wood.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 11(3), 031003 (Apr 08, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: JMR-18-1129; doi: 10.1115/1.4043024 History: Received May 07, 2018; Accepted February 19, 2019

In this paper, a fabric-based wearable soft robotic limb (SRL) is presented. It can be worn on the user’s body to potentially assist with activities of daily living. This SRL can perform a bidirectional bending motion by inflating the pneumatic bending actuators. The end effector, which is a fabric-based soft gripper, can pick up small objects in daily life. The SRL is pneumatically actuated, and its bending motion and payload capability were characterized. All the actuation and control systems are integrated in a portable control box. The SRL can be voice-controlled using an Android-based voice recognition mobile application. We expect the SRL to be a promising wearable tool that can assist the user in managing simple activities in daily living, while allowing the user’s natural human hands to work on more complex tasks.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
<>
Copyright © 2019 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.

References

Polygerinos, P., Lyne, S., Wang, Z., Nicolini, L. F., Mosadegh, B., Whitesides, G. M., and Walsh, C. J., 2013, “Towards A Soft Pneumatic Glove for Hand Rehabilitation,” IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, Nov. 3–7, pp. 1512–1517.
Fontana, M., Vertechy, R., Marcheschi, S., Salsedo, F., and Bergamasco, M., 2014, “The Body Extender: A Full-Body Exoskeleton for the Transport and Handling of Heavy Loads,” IEEE Robot. Autom. Mag., 21(4), pp. 34–44. [CrossRef]
Kubota, S., Nakata, Y., Eguchi, K., Kawamoto, H., Kamibayashi, K., Sakane, M., Sankai, Y., and Ochiai, N., 2013, “Feasibility of Rehabilitation Training With a Newly Developed Wearable Robot for Patients With Limited Mobility,” Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil., 94(6), pp. 1080–1087. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wu, F. Y., and Asada, H. H., 2015, “’Hold-And-Manipulate’ With a Single Hand Being Assisted by Wearable Extra Fingers,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Seattle, WA, May 26–30, pp. 6205–6212.
Park, Y. L., Chen, B. R., Pérez-Arancibia, N. O., Young, D., Stirling, L., Wood, R. J., Goldfield, E. C., and Nagpal, R., 2014, “Design and Control of a Bio-Inspired Soft Wearable Robotic Device for Ankle–Foot Rehabilitation,” Bioinspir. Biomim., 9(1), 016007.
Kobayashi, H., Suzuki, H., and Hayashi, T. 2004, “A Muscle Suit for Muscular Support Realization of All Motion for the Upper Limb,” IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation TExCRA Technical Exhibition Based, Tokyo, Nov. 18–19, pp. 57–58.
Bogue, R., 2009, “Exoskeletons and Robotic Prosthetics: A Review of Recent Developments,” Ind. Robot Int. J., 36(5), pp. 421–427. [CrossRef]
Kong, K., and Jeon, D., 2006, “Design and Control of an Exoskeleton for the Elderly and Patients,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics, 11(4), pp. 428–432. [CrossRef]
Liang, X., Yap, H. K., Guo, J., Yeow, C. H., Sun, Y., and Chui, C. K., 2017, “Design and Characterization of a Novel Fabric-Based Robotic Arm for Future Wearable Robot Application,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), Macau, Dec. 5–8, pp. 367–372.
Low, F. Z., Lim, J. H., and Yeow, C. H., 2018, “Design, Characterisation and Evaluation of a Soft Robotic Sock Device on Healthy Subjects for Assisted Ankle Rehabilitation,” J. Med. Eng. Technol., 42(1), pp. 26–34. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Yap, H. K., Khin, P. M., Koh, T. H., Sun, Y., Liang, X., Lim, J. H., and Yeow, C. H., 2017, “A Fully Fabric-Based Bidirectional Soft Robotic Glove for Assistance and Rehabilitation of Hand Impaired Patients,” IEEE Rob. Autom. Lett., 2(3), pp. 1383–1390. [CrossRef]
Llorens-Bonilla, B., Parietti, F., and Asada, H. H., 2012, “Demonstration-Based Control of Supernumerary Robotic Limbs,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Vilamoura, Oct. 7–12, pp. 3936–3942.
Parietti, F., and Asada, H. H., 2014, “Supernumerary Robotic Limbs for Aircraft Fuselage Assembly: Body Stabilization and Guidance by Bracing,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, May 31–June 7, pp. 1176–1183.
Parietti, F., Chan, K., and Asada, H. H., 2014, “Bracing the Human Body With Supernumerary Robotic Limbs for Physical Assistance and Load Reduction,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, May 31–June 7, pp. 141–148.
Nguyen, P. H., Sparks, C., Nuthi, S. G., Vale, N. M., and Polygerinos, P., 2018, “Soft Poly-Limbs: Toward a New Paradigm of Mobile Manipulation for Daily Living Tasks,” Soft Robotics, preprint.
Tsagarakis, N., Caldwell, D. G., and Medrano-Cerda, G. A., 1999, “A 7 DOF Pneumatic Muscle Actuator (pMA) Powered Exoskeleton,” IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interaction, Pisa, Sept. 27–29, pp. 327–333.
Zhang, J. F., Yang, C. J., Chen, Y., Zhang, Y., and Dong, Y. M., 2008, “Modeling and Control of a Curved Pneumatic Muscle Actuator for Wearable Elbow Exoskeleton,” Mechatronics, 18(8), pp. 448–457. [CrossRef]
Caldwell, D. G., Tsagarakis, N., Badihi, D., and Medrano-Cerda, G. A., 1998, “Pneumatic Muscle Actuator Technology: A Light Weight Power System for a Humanoid Robot.” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Leuven, May 20–20, pp. 3053–3058.
Shapiro, Y., Wolf, A., and Gabor, K., 2011, “Bi-Bellows: Pneumatic Bending Actuator,” Sens. Actuators A Phys., 167(2), pp. 484–494. [CrossRef]
Suzumori, K., Endo, S., Kanda, T., Kato, N., and Suzuki, H. 2007, “A Bending Pneumatic Rubber Actuator Realizing Soft-Bodied Manta Swimming Robot,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Roma, Apr. 10–14, pp. 4975–4980.
Wang, B., Aw, K. C., Biglari-Abhari, M., and McDaid, A. 2016, “Design and Fabrication of a Fiber-Reinforced Pneumatic Bending Actuator,” IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM), Banff, AB, pp. 83–88.
Hannan, M. W., and Walker, I. D., 2000, “Analysis and Initial Experiments for a Novel Elephant’s Trunk Robot,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Takamatsu, Oct. 31–Nov. 5, pp. 330–337.
Niiyama, R., Rus, D., and Kim, S., 2014, “Pouch Motors: Printable/Inflatable Soft Actuators for Robotics,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, May 31–June 7, pp. 6332–6337.
Matheus, K., and Dollar, A. M., 2010, “Benchmarking Grasping and Manipulation: Properties of the Objects of Daily Living,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Taipei, Oct. 18–22, pp. 5020–5027.

Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Wearable soft robotic limb prototype: (a) different segments of the SRL prototype and (b) demonstration of the user controlling the SRL through voice

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Fabrication process of the pneumatic bending actuator: (a) heat bonding an airproof bladder with a spacer, (b) use nylon tie wraps to make bending actuator, and (c) combing to bending actuator for a bidirectional bending actuator

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Fabrication process of the shortening actuator: (a) heat bonding an airproof bladder with a cylinder-shaped spacer and (b) demonstration of the shortening effect upon inflation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Block diagram of the control system. The user command is transmitted to the microcontroller through Bluetooth. The microcontroller sends signals to the pump and valve to control air flow to the SRL and reads pressure signal from the sensor as feedback.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Bending curvature of the arm toward left and right upon pressure; the square markers represent bending toward the right and the circular markers represent bending toward the left; the result is based on three trials and error bar is the standard deviation of the three trials

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Demonstration of the bending of the arm segment upon pressure

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Bending curvature of the gripper upon pressure; the result is based on three trials and error bar is the standard deviation of the three trials

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Demonstration of the bending of the hand segment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Bending degrees of the arm segment; the two lines represent the middle and tip position of the SRL respectively; sampling rate is 60 Hz

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Horizontal and vertical displacement of the tip upon inflation of the shortening actuation in three cycles; the two lines represent for horizontal displacement and vertical displacement respectively; sampling rate is 60 Hz

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Maximum load of the SRL when secured at the hand/arm segment and gripping object of 2.5 cm/3.5 cm radius; the result is based on three trials and the error bar is the standard deviation of the trials

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Tip force of the gripper at different angles upon inflation and deflation; square markers, circular markers, triangular markers, and reverse-triangular markers are 0 deg, 45 deg, 90 deg, and 135 deg, respectively; sampling frequency is 1 Hz

Tables

Errata

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In