A pneumatic human power amplifier module is an integrated system of pneumatic valves, an end-effector, and an electronic controller, a system that can be used on a variety of pneumatic manual material handling devices. A manual material handling device equipped with this module system (i.e., the pneumatic valves, the end-effector, and the electronic controller) amplifies the force the human exerts when the human uses this device to lift or lower an object: that is, the device lifts a pre-programmed larger percentage of the total force of the load (i.e., gravity plus acceleration) while the human lifts the remaining smaller percentage of the total force. The contact force between the human’s hand and the device’s end-effector is used to control the device’s actuator and consequently the device’s motion during load manipulation. This contact force acts as a feedback on the human’s hand which gives the human a sense of how much weight he/she is lifting. Because of this method of control, the manual material handling device follows the human arm motions in a “natural” way.
Applications of IADs in US Postal Service (One handed operation)
Applications of IADs in US Postal Service (Two handed operation)