Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Mechanical Characterization of Supernumerary Robotic Tails for Human Balance Augmentation
    on August 31, 2023 at 12:00 am

    AbstractHumans are intrinsically unstable in quiet stance from a rigid body system viewpoint; however, they maintain balance, thanks to neuro-muscular sensory control properties. With increasing levels of balance related incidents in industrial and ageing populations globally each year, the development of assistive mechanisms to augment human balance is paramount. This work investigates the mechanical characteristics of kinematically dissimilar one and two degrees-of-freedom (DoF) supernumerary robotic tails for balance augmentation. Through dynamic simulations and manipulability assessments, the importance of variable coupling inertia in creating a sufficient reaction torque is highlighted. It is shown that two-DoF tails with solely revolute joints are best suited to address the balance augmentation issue. Within the two-DoF options, the characteristics of open versus closed loop tails are investigated, with the ultimate design selection requiring trade-offs between environmental workspace, biomechanical factors, and manufacturing ease to be made.

Design of a Single-Degree-of-Freedom Immersive Rehabilitation Device for Clustered Upper-Limb Motion


Mechanical devices such as robots are widely adopted for limb rehabilitation. Due to the variety of human body parameters, the rehabilitation motion for different patients usually has its individual pattern; hence, we adopt clustering-based machine learning technique to find a limited number of motion patterns for upper-limb rehabilitation, so that they could represent the large amount of those from people who have various body parameters. By using the regression motion of the clustering result as the target, in this article, we seek to apply kinematic mapping-based motion synthesis framework to design a 1-degree-of-freedom (DOF) mechanism, such that it could lead the patients’ upper limb through the target motion. Also, considering rehab training generally involves a large amount of repetition on a daily basis, this article has developed a rehab system with unity3d based on virtual reality (VR). The proposed device and system could provide an immersive experience to the users, as well as the rehab motion data to the administrative staff for evaluation of users’ status. The construction of the integrated system and the experimental trial of the prototype are presented at the end of this article.
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