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Design of a Wearable Scissored-Pair Control Moment Gyroscope (SP-CMG) for Human Balance Assist

[+] Author Affiliations
Jimmy Chiu, Ambarish Goswami

Honda Research Institute USA, Inc., Mountain View, CA

Paper No. DETC2014-35539, pp. V05AT08A023; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4636-0
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Our research examines the feasibility of usign a wearable scissored-pair control moment gyroscope (CMG) for human balance assist. The CMG is a momentum exchange device consisting of a fast spinning flywheel mounted on a gimbal. The gimbal motion changes the direction of the flywheel rotation axis, which generates a reactionless torque. A scissored-pair CMG has the additional advantage of isolating the output torque to a single axis, where off-axis torques are canceled out. A properly designed CMG device worn as a backpack can apply a torque in the sagittal plane of the human trunk. This can help in restoring postural balance and in fall mitigation.

This paper describes the complete design process of a scissored-pair CMG device with constraints on size, mass and dynamic properties for human wearability. A prototype of this device is built, utilizing a novel dual-flywheel design; it weighs about 8kg and is able to generate over 20Nm of torque. A custom hardware is built specifically for verifying the torque output of the device. To our knowledge this is the only device that generates the range of reactionless torque given its weight and size.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design



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