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Analysis of a Gas Supply Unit Based on Hydrogen Peroxide Decomposition for Wearable Robotic Applications

Turchetti, Luca, Vitale, Flavia, Accoto, Dino, Annesini, Maria C.
Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2013 v.52 no.26 pp. 8946-8952
actuators, chemistry, hydrogen peroxide, manganese dioxide, mathematical models, prostheses, robots
With the aim of developing new solutions for powering pneumatic actuators in the field of wearable robotics, a principle scheme of a pressurized gas supply unit (GSU) based on hydrogen peroxide decomposition is proposed and a dynamic mathematical model is developed to simulate its operation. In the application scenario considered for the simulations, the GSU feeds a pneumatic ankle prosthesis during a standard daily living at-home activity. Furthermore, experiments of hydrogen peroxide decomposition on manganese dioxide powder have been carried out in an apparatus that partially mimics the behavior of the GSU. The results show that the GSU proposed is suitable for the implementation in a mobile robotic system, and, more in general, the use of the hydrogen peroxide decomposition process as a gas source for pneumatic actuators can be a viable approach to solve the principal issues related to powering wearable robotic devices.