May 02, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 17

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Load Cell Tech: Exoskeleton for paraplegics

FUTEK recently partnered with the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) on their latest exoskeleton (Mina V2) to provide paraplegics with gait mobility. These powered exoskeletons have several FUTEK LCB200 load cells, which were installed in the actuators to measure the torque that the actuator applied.

Products used
Six FUTEK LCB200 In Line Rod End Tension and Compression Load Cells paired with Strain Gauge Amplifiers (IAA series or IDA100).

How it works

LCB200 Rod End Load Cell



1. FUTEK sponsored this exoskeleton by providing their LCB200 load cells, which were installed in specialized fixtures IHMC designed, enabling the system to receive accurate force feedback from the motors and closing the control loop, all while allowing the sensor to safely rotate.

2. A LCB200 is installed in a specialized fixture attached to the motor, allowing it to rotate like a human joint, minimize extraneous loads, and provide accurate load data.

IDA100 Digitally Configurable Amplifier



3. As the motor operates, it applies force to the joint, rotating it. This force is measured by the LCB200.

4. The mV/V signal from the LCB200 is sent to the IAA series analog amplifiers or IDA100 digitally configurable amplifier.

5. The amplified signal is sent to the exoskeleton's control system, using the amplified load cell output to close the loop and drive the exoskeleton's motors.

IAA Series Strain Gauge Signal Conditioner



6. With the IDA100, amplifier output can be simultaneously monitored and adjusted on a Windows PC with FUTEK's SENSIT software while providing high-speed, amplified analog output.

All FUTEK application illustrations are strictly conceptual. Please contact a FUTEK representative with questions.

Source: FUTEK

Published May 2017

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