PowerGrasp: Development Aspects for Arm Support Systems
Exoskeletons can support workers on physically demanding tasks, but in industry they lack of acceptance. This contribution gives an insight into design aspects for upper body exoskeletons, especially how active exoskeletons for industrial applications differ from military and medical use-cases. To overcome typical rigid exoskeleton problems, we suggest the use of modular soft-exosuit support systems and therefore checked different types of soft actuation principles for their eligibility for the use on upper body joints. Most promising approach is using two-layered actuators sting of robust fabric with embedded rubber tubes as pressure chambers. By inflating the tubes, it is possible to vary the stiffness of the chambers, which can be effectively used to generate assisting forces and moments at human joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger).