JRM Vol.35 No.6 pp. 1629-1637
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2023.p1629


Development of Mobility Type Upper Limb Power Assist System —Mechanism and Design of Power Assist Device—

Hiroyuki Inoue* and Hiroshi Shimura**

*Department of Integrated Science and Technology, National Institute of Technology, Tsuyama College
624-1 Numa, Tsuyama, Okayama 708-8509, Japan

**Ricoh Company, Ltd.
2-7-1 Izumi, Ebina, Kanagawa 243-0460, Japan

March 27, 2023
September 12, 2023
December 20, 2023
power assist device, linkage mechanism, mobile robot, upper limb

In fruit cultivation, viticulture requires the longest working hours in extended arm postures, much of which is carried out in standing postures to accumulate fatigue on arms, shoulders, and legs: a tough working environment. In this study, we propose a power assist system to assist its users in their extended arm work while they move in vineyards. The proposed system largely consists of a mobile robot, a power assist device for work, and a control system. The mobile robot is structured with a tracked vehicle for rough terrain arranged on its left and right sides so that the users can sit between the two vehicles and be assisted by the power assist device for work installed on it. The power assist device for work with a single linear actuator utilizing a linkage mechanism has the function to retain users’ hand attitude angles while assisting the flexion and extension movements of their shoulder, elbow, and carpometacarpal joints. Then, we verify by simulations the effects that the arrangement and lengths of links will have on the carpometacarpal joints’ trajectories as well as on the hand attitude angles. Finally, in order to check the effectiveness of the proposed power assist device for work, we conducted the evaluation experiments for assumed grape-harvesting work and gibberellin treatments. As a result, we proved its work assisting effects from the muscle activity states as well as its applicability to other kinds of work by altering its linkage structure and hand support part.

Mobility type upper limb power assist system

Mobility type upper limb power assist system

Cite this article as:
H. Inoue and H. Shimura, “Development of Mobility Type Upper Limb Power Assist System —Mechanism and Design of Power Assist Device—,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.35 No.6, pp. 1629-1637, 2023.
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Last updated on Feb. 19, 2024