TESBE: Technologies for Efficient and Safe Body Extenders
Body Extenders (BE) are an emerging class of wearable robots, aiming at physically supporting humans during the complex handling of materials in un-structured environments. In the framework of the TESBE experiment of the European RTD project ECHORD, PERCRO and Telerobot successfully developed three core technologies deemed as enabling to make safer and more efficient the use of BE in the envisaged application scenarios. In particular the newly developed force control has allowed to reduce by a factor of 5-7 times the resistance forces exerted by the device on the operator’s body, during the tracking of its movements, the collaborative control of the BE posture has demonstrated its capability to prevent the overturning of the system under the action of gravity, when approaching its equilibrium boundary, and the new haptically enhanced gripper allowed to speed up the grasping of objects having different shapes and sizes, thanks to its original highly under-actuated mechanism that automatically adapts the orientations/positions of its multiple grasping surfaces.
KeywordsBody Extenders Powered Exoskeleton Wearable Robotics Force Control Under-actuated Gripper Haptic Feedback
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