Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A Soft Pneumatic Fabric-Polymer Actuator for Wearable Biomedical Devices: Proof of Concept for Lymphedema Treatment

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hermano Krebs


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2018 IEEE. Object manipulation and fluid, goal-directed, movements require sensory information for effective execution. Amputees lose this intrinsic feedback when controlling their artificial limbs and must instead rely on visual information to compensate. Here, we describe an application for providing touch and kinesthetic information to amputees. We report on a soft robotic pneumatic actuator approach that can be incorporated into a prosthetic limb as the silicone suction socket liner itself. This approach alleviates many problems inherent to rigid tactors such as poor trim lines from external mounting, electromyography (EMG) signal contamination, and loss of limb fixation suction due to holes in the liner to pass touch and vibration to the residual limb. We analyzed two soft materials and different chamber geometries to generate a prototype. We characterized the static and dynamic properties of this prototype during operation obtaining a maximum force of 12.5 N at 70 kPa, free displacement of 4.5 mm at 50 kPa, and a bandwidth near 70 Hz. We presented an analytical model that fits well with the experimental data and provided a comparison between this soft pneumatic actuator and other rigid tactor devices. The results of testing the prototype in able-bodied participants and one amputee individual demonstrated that this soft pneumatic actuator achieved good performance at frequencies of 5 and 70 Hz at 60 kPa. In sequential days of training with the prototype participants reported perceptions of wrist flexion/extension and demonstrated learned associations between tapping and hand closing.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Huaroto JJ, Suarez E, Krebs HI, Marasco PD, Vela EA

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Year of Conference: 2019

Pages: 17-24

Online publication date: 13/09/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN: 2577-087X

Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

URL: 10.1109/ICRA.2018.8460790

DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2018.2874379

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters

ISBN: 9781538630815