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Development of Electric Flexible Spherical Actuator for Rehabilitation

Hiroaki Tamaki, Shujiro Dohta, Tetsuya Akagi, Wataru Kobayashi, and Yasuko Matsui
Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Okayama University of Science, Okayama, Japan
Abstract—This study aims at developing a potable rehabilitation device which can be safe to use while holding it by both hands. In the previous study, a novel flexible pneumatic cylinder that can be used even if it is deformed by external force has been developed. A portable rehabilitation device using the flexible spherical actuator that consists of two ring-shaped flexible pneumatic cylinders was proposed and tested. In this paper, an electric flexible spherical actuator utilizing electric motors, timing belts and pulleys is proposed and tested. An attitude control of the actuator using the built-in controller is executed. As a result, it can be confirmed that the attitude control of the tested actuator with limitation of moving area can be realized. 
 
Index Terms—electric flexible spherical actuator, flexible driving mechanism using timing belt, rehabilitation device, flexible pneumatic cylinder

Cite: Hiroaki Tamaki, Shujiro Dohta, Tetsuya Akagi, Wataru Kobayashi, and Yasuko Matsui, "Development of Electric Flexible Spherical Actuator for Rehabilitation," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 327-330, July 2017. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.6.4.327-330
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