Design and control of a Bowden-cable driven magnetic resonance imaging compatible series-elastic actuator
Şentürk, Yusuf Mert (2017) Design and control of a Bowden-cable driven magnetic resonance imaging compatible series-elastic actuator. [Thesis]
Presence of the strong magnetic fields in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) environment limits the integration of robotic rehabilitation systems to the MRI process. The tendency to improve imaging quality by the amplification of magnetic field strength further tightens the bidirectional compatibility constraints on MRI compatible rehabilitation devices. In this thesis, the design, control, and characterization of MRI-VisAct—a low-cost, Bowden cable-actuated rotary series viscoelastic actuator that fulfills the bidirectional compatibility requirements to the maximum extend, are presented. Components of MRI-VisAct that are placed in the magnet room are built using nonconductive, diamagnetic MRI compatible materials, while ferromagnetic/ paramagnetic components are placed in the control room, located outside the MRI room. Power and data transmission are achieved through Bowden-cables and fiber optics, respectively. This arrangement ensures that neuro-imaging artifacts are minimized, while safety hazards are eliminated, and the device performance is not affected by the magnetic field. MRI-VisAct works under closed-loop torque control enabled through series viscoelastic actuation. MRI-VisAct is fully customizable; it can serve as the building block of higher degrees of freedom MRI compatible robotic devices.
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