Robot-assisted rehabilitation is a relatively new technique used to reduce motor impairment and enhance fast functional recovery of patients.
SMA actuators are an interesting alternative to conventional actuation. Indeed, they provide several benefits, such as low weight, high power to weight ratio, silent operation, low encumbrance and reduced mechanical complexity.
It is really impressive to note that a 100 µm Nitinol wire, length 100 mm, can lift over 31000 times its weight by 5 mm (calculations performed on the data provided in SmartFlex® wires datasheet, by SAES Getters).
Our research group is currently collaborating with Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri with the aim to provide SMA actuators advantages to rehabilitation robots.
- Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Pavia, Italy, Ing. R. Colombo