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A shape memory alloy-based tendon-driven actuation system for biomimetic artificial fingers, part I: design and evaluation

  • Vishalini Bundhoo (a1), Edmund Haslam (a1), Benjamin Birch (a1) and Edward J. Park (a1)

In this paper, a new biomimetic tendon-driven actuation system for prosthetic and wearable robotic hand applications is presented. It is based on the combination of compliant tendon cables and one-way shape memory alloy (SMA) wires that form a set of agonist–antagonist artificial muscle pairs for the required flexion/extension or abduction/adduction of the finger joints. The performance of the proposed actuation system is demonstrated using a 4 degree-of-freedom (three active and one passive) artificial finger testbed, also developed based on a biomimetic design approach. A microcontroller-based pulse-width-modulated proportional-derivation (PWM-PD) feedback controller and a minimum jerk trajectory feedforward controller are implemented and tested in an ad hoc fashion to evaluate the performance of the finger system in emulating natural joint motions. Part II describes the dynamic modeling of the above nonlinear system, and the model-based controller design.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail: ejpark@me.uvica@ca
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