An actuator control unit for robotized prostethic arm with embedded energy storage

The paper presents an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) with embedded energy storage up to 500 J to face safety critical applications such as the control of servomotors for a robotized prosthetic arm. Mechatronic devices for rehabilitation or assisted living of injured and/or elderly people are today available; in most cases are battery powered with lithium cells providing high energy density and low weight but at the expenses of a reduced robustness vs. lead acid or NiCd cells.

The ECU of this work ensures full operation of the wearable robotized arm, controlled through acceleration and EMG (Electromyography) sensor signals, also in case of battery failure, by using supercapacitors as local energy tank.

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