This paper justifies the need for more research in the area of ‘assistive robotics’ and it describes the design and performance of a manipulator arm and gripper, mounted on an electric scooter, that can enable frail elderly and people with disabilities to collect and retrieve heavy objects, such as shopping items, located on high shelves. Known by the acronym ‘ESRA’, short for ‘Electric Scooter Robot Arm’, this device can be attached to a mobile vehicle like an electric scooter or an electric-powered wheelchair. This paper discusses the basic mechanical design of the ESRA manipulator and gripper, joint control, important design tools and failure analysis that were used for its development, and overall performance of the prototype arm. The object retrieval performance of this manipulator can also be enhanced using machine vision techniques for automatic object detection and gripper guidance. Different end-effector tools can be mounted on the end of the ESRA to enable the operator to perform a wide variety of common household chores and manipulation tasks.
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- A Mobile Manipulator Arm for Assisting the Frail Elderly and Infirm
Samuel N. Cubero
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg