The thesis has three goals, the first goal is to determine which are the system requirements that an elbow-flexion exoskeleton using SMA actuators needs to meet. The second goal of the thesis is to explore possible configurations of SMA springs that can be used for creating an elbow-flexion exoskeleton that could meet the requirements described in the literature review. The third goal of the thesis is to use the more promising SMA spring configuration identified in the characterization study to build and test a simple elbow-flexion rig. The main purpose of the rig is to test whether the chosen SMA spring configuration has sufficient force to lift and hold an average female’s forearm, given power limitations and various other factors. A second purpose of the rig study is to identify potential degradation in the maximum force of the SMA spring actuators after repeated use in an elbow flexion exoskeleton rig.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. December 2019. Major: Design, Housing and Apparel. Advisor: Lucy Dunne. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 283 pages.
Characterization of NiTi Shape Memory Alloy Spring Actuators and Their Application in an Elbow-Flexion Exoskeleton for Females.
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