Upper limb paralysis and movement disorders resulting from neurologic injuries can be treated with an upper limb exoskeleton robot that assists with movement retraining. Cable-driven exoskeletons have been widely studied because of their lightness, compact structure, and low cost. However, the problems of shoulder squeeze force and system stability have not been solved. In this article, we present a prototype parallel cable-driven shoulder mechanism with series springs. The theoretical analysis suggests that the stability of the mechanism is improved compared with that of the previous mechanism, and the effects of stiffness, upper limb weight, and mechanism parameters on the shoulder joint extrusion pressure are analyzed by simulation and experimental results. The results show that this mechanism plays an important role in reducing or eliminating the shoulder squeeze pressure and improving the stability of the mechanism. Moreover, the mechanism has good portability and can be combined with other exoskeletons to facilitate various robot-assisted upper limb rehabilitation training.
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics Open Issues