Three level innovation of the powered above elbow prosthetic arm using pneumatic artificial muscles
This thesis presents a novel above elbow prosthetic arm design, innovating on three different levels: the actuation method, system integration, and the mechanism design. The Chemo-Muscle actuation system expands pneumatic artificial muscles to mobile applications. The integrated design makes use of the internal dead space of the muscle, incorporating external components and reducing fuel consumption. A novel design is presented using smaller muscles to control multiple degrees of freedom, providing 50% more strength than other prosthetic arms and an excellent range of motion for each degree of freedom. A simple control method is proven and the future development is discussed.