Design of a Novel Compliant Sensor for Series Elastic Actuation and Control of a Flexible Cable Conduit Transmission
Blumenschein, Laura H
O'Malley, Marcia K
Master of Science
While robotic rehabilitation following neurological injury is gaining traction, traditional rigid systems are confined to use in a clinic and mechanical designs can limit their portability for use in an assistive mode. Soft robotic wearable exoskeletons offer potential solutions, yet the cable-based actuation systems commonly used introduce non-linear dynamics and friction, increasing control challenges. This thesis presents a novel compliant sensor design for use in flexible cable conduit transmissions that leverages the natural transmission compliance and utilizes series elastic actuation (SEA), a method of control previously shown effective for dynamic compensation. Dynamic simulations and static models are used to inform the analysis of physical experiments using the sensor in the transmission. The sensor is validated for use in force feedback for both force and impedance control scenarios. Experimental results provide insight to the design of soft exoskeleton devices regarding the effects of sensor location and the challenges of non-collocation of sensor and user interface.
Bowden cable; Series Elastic Actuation; Robot Aided Rehabilitation; Soft Exoskeleton