Title

Ergonomic Control System for a Powered Human Exoskleton

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Faculty Mentor Name

James Eason

Faculty Mentor Department

School of Engineering and Computer Science

Abstract/Artist Statement

Mechanical exoskeletons allow human users to lift greater weights and experience less fatigue during physical activities. Human exoskeletons need to be, not only, lightweight, durable, and strong, but they also require a sophisticated control interface. When operating a human exoskeleton, the user should be able to control the mechanical limbs as if they were an extension of their own body. If the control system is not intuitive enough or improperly designed, the advantages of the exoskeleton can be severely diminished. A team of senior Bioengineers at the University of the Pacific have taken on the task of improving the control system of a powered human exoskeleton arm. Using a custom designed control handle, the user can control the mechanical arm with ease. The handle utilizes force sensing resistors to detect pressures and movements of the operator's hand, which are then translated into mechanical movement. The control handle allows for flexion and extension in the elbow and shoulder joint, allowing the exoskeleton to mimic biological motion. The force sensors not only interpret motions of the arm, but also control a pneumatic system, allowing the exoskeleton to move at variable speeds.

Location

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Start Date

30-4-2011 2:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2011 3:30 PM

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Apr 30th, 2:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:30 PM

Ergonomic Control System for a Powered Human Exoskleton

School of Engineering & Computer Science

Mechanical exoskeletons allow human users to lift greater weights and experience less fatigue during physical activities. Human exoskeletons need to be, not only, lightweight, durable, and strong, but they also require a sophisticated control interface. When operating a human exoskeleton, the user should be able to control the mechanical limbs as if they were an extension of their own body. If the control system is not intuitive enough or improperly designed, the advantages of the exoskeleton can be severely diminished. A team of senior Bioengineers at the University of the Pacific have taken on the task of improving the control system of a powered human exoskeleton arm. Using a custom designed control handle, the user can control the mechanical arm with ease. The handle utilizes force sensing resistors to detect pressures and movements of the operator's hand, which are then translated into mechanical movement. The control handle allows for flexion and extension in the elbow and shoulder joint, allowing the exoskeleton to mimic biological motion. The force sensors not only interpret motions of the arm, but also control a pneumatic system, allowing the exoskeleton to move at variable speeds.