A Drive Unit Actuated by SMA Springs under Temperature Control to Operate a Powered Glove

Shunji Moromugi1,a, Tsunaki Ikeda2, Yukiharu Yoshimi3, Kazuhiro Kitamura4 and Takakazu Ishimatsu1

1Dept. of Mechanical systems Engineering, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 852-8521, Japan.

2Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nagasaki University, 1-14 Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 852-8521, Japan

3Yoshimi Inc. 1-43 Kitasaki, Obu, Aichi, 474-0002, Japan.

4Dept. of Technology Education, Aichi University of Education, 1 Hirosawa Igaya-cho, Kariya, Aichi, 448-8542, Japan.


Authors had been developing a powered glove for people with finger disability to restore their motor functions of fingers. A new drive unit has been prototyped for the powered glove by using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) as an actuator. The drive unit is operated through temperature control of SMA spring by using nichrome wires and cooling fans. Loadelongation characteristics of the SMA springs are explored and the SMA springs are configured in the drive unit to maximise the output force of the drive unit based on the springs’ characteristics. Drive performance of the drive unit is evaluated through temperature control and position control. Finger movements are successfully demonstrated by using the powered glove driven by the prototyped drive unit.

Keywords: Drive unit, Shape memory alloy, Powered glove, Force control, Position control.

     Back to TOC