The aim of this project is to analyse, improve and build an enhanced version of an existing open-source rehabilitation device. LINarm project is a low-cost 1-DOF linear robotic device, developed by a team of engineers at the Institute of Industrial Technologies and Automation (ITIA) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR). It is designed for upper extremities rehabilitation utilizing a novel variable impedance actuator (VIA). The majority of mechanical parts of the mechanism can be 3D printed.
A combination of two DC motors and two non-linear springs integrated in the mobile part of the robot enables the control of mechanical impedance. This inherently elastic drive provides robustness and safety for outside perturbations and incidental contact with the person interacting with the device. The interaction force is estimated from the displacement of the mobile carriage out of its equilibrium.
Two RE 40 maxon motors will be used for implementing the variable impedance drive, together with MR maxon encoders and planetary gearheads. ESCON Module 50/5 servo controllers will be used for driving the motors. The low-level control will be implemented through PCI-DAS/QUAD analog and digital cards driven by a realtime xPC Target operating system. Algorithm developement and testing will be done in the MATLAB Simulink platform.