Development of Wearable Pneumatic Actuator and Multiport Pressure Control Valve
Tetsuya Akagi, and Shujiro Dohta
Department of Intelligent Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Okayama University of Science, 1-1 Ridai-cho, Okayama 700-0005, Japan
Recently, force feedback devices in virtual reality and power assisted nursing care systems have received much attention and active research. Some involve an actuator and a driving device, such as a pneumatic cylinder and a control valve, worn by the user. Such devices must be compact, lightweight and flexible to avoid excessive load on and injury to the user. The purpose of our study is to develop a flexible and lightweight actuator which can be safe enough to be attached to the human body. We proposed new flexible pneumatic actuators that operate even if the actuator is deformed by external force. We tested a push-pull and flexible pneumatic actuator that moves straight and rotates. We proposed and developed a multiport pressure control valve that drives multiple wearable actuators while reducing the weight of the control valve for multiple degrees of freedom of motion.
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