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Portable dextrous low mass arm haptic interface

An arm based haptic interface has been designed, constructed and tested for applications in VR based simulation of “open” surgical procedures. The exoskeletal uses novel actuator design methods to produce a system that has high dexterity (7 dof from shoulder to wrist), low mass (arm mass 1.2kg) and high power and force (peak force at shoulder 125Nm).

The range of exoskeletal movement is extensive and covers most of the human arm work volume. Sensory feedback is provided from each joint in the form of positional, force and muscle pressure data.

Software has been developed and tested for co-ordination and control of the joint motions and using this code in conjunction with the sensory capacities the exoskeleton can simultaneous control both position and force (joint stiffness/compliance).

This control is regulated to provide restraining/constraining and augmentation feedback forces to the joints of the shoulder, elbow and wrist providing a generalised arm restraint sensation.

The use of the novel actuators provides for intrinsic compliance regulation which is well suited to simulation of human tissue, and safety in close location to the operator.
The first prototype has been completed and installed at CINECA. Some initial levels of integration have been achieved ahead of schedule.

Reported by

University of Salford
Telford Building
M5 4WT Salford
United Kingdom
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