Soft robotics is an emerging scientific field well known for being widespread employed in several applications where dexterity and safe interaction are of major importance. In particular, a very challenging scenario in which it is involved concerns bio-medical field. In the last few years, several soft robotic devices have been developed to assist elderly people in daily tasks. In this paper, the authors present a new manufacturing approach for the fabrication of I-SUPPORT, a soft arm used to help needful people during shower activities. The proposed I-SUPPORT version, based on pneumatic and cable-driven actuation, is manufactured using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), the most common and inexpensive Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology. The advantages offered by FFF technology compared to traditional manufacturing methods regard: (i) the possibility to increase the automation degree of the process by reducing manual tasks, (ii) the decrease of assembly operations and (iii) an improvement in terms of supply chain. Moreover, the constitutive I-SUPPORT elements have been printed separately to save time, reduce materials and optimize the waste in case of failure. Afterwards, the proposed soft robotic arm has been tested to evaluate the performances and of the chambers, module and the whole I-SUPPORT manipulator.
|Titolo:||I-support soft arm for assistance tasks: a new manufacturing approach based on 3D printing and characterization|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|