Development of a Tendon-Driven System Using a Pneumatic Balloon
Norihiko Saga, Jun-ya Nagase, and Yasumasa Kondo
Dept. of Machine Intelligence and System Engineering, Akita Prefectural University, 84-4 Tsuchiya, Yurihonjo, Akita 015-0055, Japan
Due to the dwindling birthrate and population aging and the resulting shortage in the labor pool of young workers in Japan today, there are increased demands for the use of robots in nursing care and welfare services. Safety is an absolute requirement in robot hands for use in environments in which they coexist with humans. Targeting a light-weight robot hand soft as a human hand, we developed a tendon-driven system similar to the human hand using a pneumatic balloon as a soft actuator. We report on the design, basic configuration, and characteristics of the actuator, and study its biomechanical characteristics for comparison with the muscles, thus demonstrating its effectiveness as an actuator for robot hands for use in welfare services and nursing care.
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