Tyler Roman- Inflatables Long Term Reading Assignment (Mikesell)

For the Long Term Reading Assignment, I made sure to charge in first and grab the most interesting piece (at least to me) and was more than happy to grab

Towards a Soft Pneumatic Glove for Hand Rehabilitation

published inĀ Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference.

And a link to my bare-bones presentation.

The reason for the lack of text being the expectation that I would narrate most of the information gained from the reading.

Overall the purpose of the text was exactly that of the title. Creating a soft glove made of air-controlled pneumatic networks that when actuated would cause the hand to contract in a semi-natural fashion thus creating a cheaper, easier, and simpler means of hand rehabilitation rather than the practice of requiring the hiring expensive physical rehabilitator.

The way in which this was done was by creating soft actuators through the use of silicone.

Taking inspiration from McKibben actuators the team involved used silicone and molds in order to create these actuators based on the PneuNet (Pneumatic Network Technique).

Once the actuators were created the team spent vast amounts of time taking careful calculations in order to ensure reliability, comfortability, and safety. In order to do so, they spent a lot of time calculating and comparing results taken between the observed data and the FEM data or Finite Element Modeling data (data calculated via mathematical computation and physics). Luckily, bar a few discrepancies in data due to the nature of the measurements and further improvements needing to be made most of the results landed squarely in what was both anticipated and needed.

The actuators were then connected to a neoprene glove designed for comfortability and quick removal for safety and then tested. The tests showed the actuators working to bend the hand to grasp various objects as seen in the photos in my powerpoint.

Take away and reflection:

Overall, I really liked this paper. It was a nice extension to the McKibben actuator lab we did in Lab 3 and really showed me yet again, the versatility of inflatables and their importance in the development and furthering of modern technology. coming into this class I honestly thought that the class would be about balloons and hot air balloons and water balloons or like bouncy castles and the like and yet, time and time again I have been suprised with the artistry, creativity, and unfortold possibilities of inflatables. The idea that inflatables could be used to tackle such things as physical rehabilitation, or used as “hugging” or support type devices to tackle mental illness, was a concept I had never taken into consideration before. Truly though, the depth of research needed to calculate and understand the full utility of the soft actuator truly goes to show the diversity of the inflatable for progress in the modern age, in all faculties of life, and in ways I had honestly never thought possible.

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