INVENTION: MARIONET is a “robotic assist” device for home use in rehabilitation. Unlike currently available robotic-assist devices, MARIONET is:
Small & lightweight Inexpensive Safe & compliant Highly portable Intended for home use MARIONET remotely actuates robotic joints via a system of cables, varying the torque applied to a joint in a controlled manner. It accomplishes this by varying the moment-arm of a cable relative to the joint, rather than by varying cable tension. The MARIONET design enables high-torques to be implemented by small, low-power (and low-cost) motors. Because motors are located remotely from joints, MARIONET enables a sleek, small footprint apparatus. At the same time, MARIONET is not only safe to use due to its compliance, but it can simultaneously control compliance and torque. MARIONET is described in further detail in J. Sulzer, M. Peshkin, J. Patton "MARIONET: An Exotendon-Driven Rotary Series Elastic Actuator for Exerting Torque" Proc. 2005 IEEE 9th Intl Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics.
APPLICATONS: Although MARIONET has been designed as a robotic assist device for home rehabilitation, the MARIONET transmission has the potential to be used in any low-speed application demanding independent control of stiffness and torque.
Northwestern University seeks a licensing partner to commercialize this invention. A patent application has been filed.
James Patton, James Sulzer, Michael Peshkin
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