Modelling, Simulation and Testing of a Reconfigurable Cable-Based Parallel Manipulator as Motion Aiding System
This paper presents results on the modelling, simulation and experimental tests of a cable-based parallel manipulator to be used as an aiding or guiding system for people with motion disabilities. There is a high level of motivation for people with a motion disability or the elderly to perform basic daily-living activities independently. Therefore, it is of great interest to design and implement safe and reliable motion assisting and guiding devices that are able to help end-users. In general, a robot for a medical application should be able to interact with a patient in safety conditions, i.e. it must not damage people or surroundings; it must be designed to guarantee high accuracy and low acceleration during the operation. Furthermore, it should not be too bulky and it should exert limited wrenches after close interaction with people. It can be advisable to have a portable system which can be easily brought into and assembled in a hospital or a domestic environment. Cable-based robotic structures can fulfil those requirements because of their main characteristics that make them light and intrinsically safe. In this paper, a reconfigurable four-cable-based parallel manipulator has been proposed as a motion assisting and guiding device to help people to accomplish a number of tasks, such as an aiding or guiding system to move the upper and lower limbs or the whole body. Modelling and simulation are presented in the ADAMS environment. Moreover, experimental tests are reported as based on an available laboratory prototype.
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