17 April 2017 Exploring dielectric elastomers as actuators for hand tremor suppression
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Abstract
Pathological tremor results in undesired motion of body parts, with the greatest effect typically occurring in the hands. Since common treatment methods are ineffective in some patients or have risks associated with surgery or side effects, researchers are investigating mechanical means of tremor suppression. This work explores the viability of dielectric elastomers as the actuators in a tremor suppression control system. Dielectric elastomers have many properties similar to human muscle, making them a natural fit for integration into the human biomechanical system. This investigation develops a model of the integrated wrist-actuator system to determine actuator parameters that produce the necessary control authority without significantly affecting voluntary motion. Furthermore, this paper develops a control law for the actuator voltage to increase the effective viscous damping of the system. Simulations show excellent theoretical tremor suppression, demonstrating the potential for dielectric elastomers to suppress tremor while maximizing compatibility between the actuator and the human body.
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Christopher R. Kelley, Christopher R. Kelley, Jeffrey L. Kauffman, Jeffrey L. Kauffman, } "Exploring dielectric elastomers as actuators for hand tremor suppression", Proc. SPIE 10163, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2017, 1016322 (17 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258735; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258735
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