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Development of Elbow Wearable Robot for Elderly Workers

고령층 근로자들을 위한 팔꿈치 착용형 로봇의 개발

  • Lee, Seok-Hoon (Dept. of Mechanical System Design Engineering, Seoul Nat'l Univ. of Science and Technology) ;
  • Lee, Si-Haeng (Dept. of Mechanical System Design Engineering, Seoul Nat'l Univ. of Science and Technology) ;
  • Kim, Jung-Yup (Dept. of Mechanical System Design Engineering, Seoul Nat'l Univ. of Science and Technology)
  • 이석훈 (서울과학기술대학교 기계시스템디자인공학과) ;
  • 이시행 (서울과학기술대학교 기계시스템디자인공학과) ;
  • 김정엽 (서울과학기술대학교 기계시스템디자인공학과)
  • Received : 2014.09.05
  • Accepted : 2015.04.15
  • Published : 2015.06.01

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a wearable robot to assist the elbow muscle for use by elderly workers in aging societies. Various previously developed wearable robots have drawbacks in terms of their price, portability, and slow recognition of the wearer's intention. In this paper, emphasis is placed on the following features to minimize these drawbacks. The first feature is that an actuator is attached only at the elbow joint that withstands the highest moment during arm motion to reduce the weight, volume, and price of the robot and increase its practicality. The second is that operation of the wearable robot is divided into two modes, a tracking mode and a muscle strengthening mode, and the robot can automatically switch between these modes by analyzing the wearer's intention through the brachial muscle strength measuring device developed in this study. The assistive performance of the developed wearable robot is experimentally verified by motion tracking experiments without an external load and muscle strengthening experiments with an external load. During the muscle strengthening experiments, the power of the muscle of the upper arm is measured by a commercial electromyography (EMG) sensor. Motion tracking performance at a speed of $120^{\circ}/s$ and muscle assistance of over 60 % were obtained using our robot.

Keywords

Wearable Robot;Power Assist;Elbow;Stretch Sensor

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 서울과학기술대학교

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