Case Studies

The control board is designed to be reconfigurable to suit the requirements of your application. Depending on your application, you may need to modify the control board. This may simply involve simply rerouting tubing to change the airflow, or may require you to add new components. This page contains some examples of how others have modified the board for use in their projects.

Evaluation Platform

The platform shown below is used to test and characterize actuators. In addition to the Control Board components, it consists of a National Instruments data acquisition box, a 6-axis force and torque sensor, a high-definition camera with checkered background for calibration, and a LabVIEW interface running on a connected workstation. The camera is used in conjunction with image analysis software such as ImageJ to track actuator motion.

Control belt

The Soft Assist Glove (Polygerinos et al. 2013) is an ongoing project at the Biodesign Lab in Harvard. The aim is to create a wearable, pneumatically actuated glove which can assist users with hand disabilities. As the glove is intended to aid with activities of daily living, the  auxiliary components for the glove need to be able to follow the user wherever they go. To achieve this, the control board components were mounted onto a wearable belt. The regulator and relays were replaced by motor drivers which allowed pulse width modulation (PWM) of the valves. The system was powered with a battery, which required the addition of components such as power regulators and fans. More details on the Soft Assist Glove can be found here.

Portable control box

A design team working on an actuated glove for thumb rehabilitation (Maeder-York et al. 2014) designed a portable control box by placing the essential board components (pump, regulator, Arduino, valves, and relays) into a compact electronics enclosure with a simple interface that could be used by patients at home. More details on this project can be found here.