A Wearable Haptic Device Based on Twisting Wire Actuators for Feedback of Tactile Pressure Information
M. Reza Motamedi, David Florant, and Vincent Duchaine
Control and Robotics Laboratory (CoRo), Department of Automated Manufacturing Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) 1100 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montreal H3C 1K3, Canada
This paper presents a novel wearable haptic device that provides the user with knowledge of a vertical force, measured at the fingertips, by applying pressure at three different locations on the user’s body. Human prehension and manipulation abilities rely on the ability to convert tactile information into controlled actions, such as the regulation of gripping force. Current upper-limb prosthetics are able to partially replicate the mechanical functions of the human hand, but most do not provide any sensory information to the user. This greatly affects amputees, as they must rely solely on their vision to perform grasping actions. Our device uses a twisted wire actuator to convert rotational motion into linear displacement, which allows the device to remain compact and light-weight. In the past, the main shortcoming of this type of actuator was its limited linear range of motion; but with a slight modification of the principle, we have extended our actuator’s linear range of motion by 40%. In this paper, we present the design of our haptic device, the kinematic and dynamic modelling of the actuator, and the results of the experiments that were used to validate the system’s functionality.
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