Multimodal Deployable Flexible Robots in Medical Domains

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825). This special issue belongs to the section "Actuators for Medical Instruments".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 1495

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Electronic Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2. Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
3. Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
4. CUHK Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, China
5. NUS (Suzhou) Research Institute, Suzhou, China
Interests: biorobotics and intelligent systems; medical mechatronics; continuum and soft flexible robots and sensors; multisensory perception; learning and control in image-guided procedures; deployable motion generation; compliance modulation/sensing; cooperative and context-aware sensors/actuators in human environments; robotic surgery; flexible robotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Electronic Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Interests: soft robotics; continuum robots; soft machines; medical mechatronics; robotic surgery; robot intelligence; robot motion planning and control; robot perception

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Multimodal deployable flexible robots represent robotic systems with deployable mechanisms and multimodalities in perception, motion, and application. These robots possess the ability to deform their structures and adapt to intricate and dynamic environments, thus demonstrating great potential for use in medical domains. Compared to conventional rigid robots, flexible robots can ensure safer interactions with humans, which has always been a desirable trait in medical applications and wearable technologies. The deployable mechanism and multimodalities provide more opportunities to facilitate functionalization.

There have been recent advances in multiple areas, including the development of novel deployable mechanisms that target specific medical scenarios, deployable mechanisms that incorporate smart materials, multi-stable deployable mechanisms, multi-agent collaborative control, multimodal perception that provides redundant information for robust robotic control and precise diagnosis, and high-fidelity simulation that facilitates the production of flexible robots. In addition, promising improvements could be expected for multimodal deployable flexible robots to benefit surgery and rehabilitation by integrating emerging technologies such as imitation learning, embodied intelligence, tactile and haptics, digital twin, and VR/AR/XR.

This Special Issue aims to bring together research on the latest progress and topical reviews in multimodal deployable flexible robots and their applications in medical domains.

Prof. Dr. Hongliang Ren
Dr. Jiewen Lai
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • flexible robotics
  • soft continuum robots
  • multimodal sensing and proprioception
  • deployable mechanisms
  • kirigami and origami robots
  • robotic surgery
  • assistive and rehabilitative robots
  • robotics and intelligent systems
  • human‒robot interactions
  • robot learning

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

18 pages, 9621 KiB  
Article
Development of Hexagonal Pyramid-Shaped Flexible Actuator with Anisotropic Stiffness for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation Device
by So Shimooka, Hiroki Himuro and Akio Gofuku
Actuators 2023, 12(11), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/act12110424 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1084
Abstract
Rehabilitation devices for passive exercise have been actively researched and developed in accordance with Japan’s aging society. A previous study proposed and tested an extension-type flexible pneumatic actuator (EFPA) with reinforced stiffness that could achieve passive exercise in patients. In addition, a rehabilitation [...] Read more.
Rehabilitation devices for passive exercise have been actively researched and developed in accordance with Japan’s aging society. A previous study proposed and tested an extension-type flexible pneumatic actuator (EFPA) with reinforced stiffness that could achieve passive exercise in patients. In addition, a rehabilitation device for shoulder joints with an embedded controller and small valves was proposed and tested. Joints such as the shoulder and scapula were subjected to passive exercise utilizing the tested device. However, it is difficult for patients with contractions to perform the same exercise because the reinforced EFPA can buckle. Here, to realize an EFPA with a higher stiffness, a flexible actuator in the shape of a hexagonal pyramid is proposed and tested. The hexagonal pyramid shape of a flexible actuator has a high stiffness in the direction of motion and flexibility in other directions; hereafter, this characteristic is called anisotropic stiffness. The characteristics of the hexagonal pyramid shape of the EFPA are described and compared with those of a previously reinforced EFPA. An analytical model was proposed to predict and design the shape of the hexagonal pyramid EFPA. The validity of the model is also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multimodal Deployable Flexible Robots in Medical Domains)
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