Portable Pneumatic Actuator System Using MH Alloys, Employed as Assistive Devices
Mitsuru Sato*, Shuichi Ino**, Naoki Yoshida***, Takashi Izumi****,
and Tohru Ifukube**
*Department of Physical Therapy, School of Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences, Showa University, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
**Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
***Institute of Rehabilitation Science, Tokuyukai Medical Corporation, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
****Department of Electronic and Information Technology, School of Engineering, Hokkaido Tokai University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Metal hydride (MH) actuators that use reversible reaction between heat and mechanical energy are suitable as a power source for rehabilitation or assistive devices. To avoid the risk of a hydrogen drive and obtain broader use than conventional MH actuators, we developed an MH air compressor that converts the hydrogen pressure of the MH actuator to air pressure. Although this compressor requires time to restore consumed air, it has the advantages of small size and flexible shape. Sit-to-stand motion aid for a wheelchair user that is the size of a seat cushion was developed using the MH air compressor.
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