Shape memory alloy-based wearables: a review, and conceptual frameworks on HCI and HRI in Industry 4.0
Alsahmi, Saeed Hamood
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Ever since its discovery, the applications of Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) can be found across a range of application domains, from structural design to medical technology. This is based upon the unique and inherent characteristics such as thermal Shape Memory Effect (SME) and Superelasticity (or Pseudoelasticity). While thermal SME is used for shape morphing applications wherein temperature change can govern the shape and dimension of the SMA, Superelasticity allows the alloy to withstand a comparatively very high magnitude of loads without undergoing plastic deformation at higher temperatures. These unique properties in wearables have revolutionized the field, and from fabrics to exoskeletons, SMA has found its place in robotics and cobotics. This review article focuses on the most recent research work in the field of SMA-based smart wearables paired with robotic applications for human-robot interaction. The literature is categorized based on SMA property incorporated and on actuator or sensor-based concept. Further, use-cases or conceptual frameworks for SMA fiber in fabric for ‘Smart Jacket’ and SMA springs in the shoe soles for ‘Smart Shoes’ are proposed. The conceptual frameworks are built upon existing technologies; however, their utility in a smart factory concept is emphasized, and algorithms to achieve the same are proposed. The integration of the two concepts with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is discussed, specifically regarding minimizing hazards for the worker/user in Industry 5.0. The article aims to propel a discussion regarding the multi-faceted applications of SMAs in human-robot interaction and Industry 5.0. Furthermore, the challenges and the limitations of the smart alloy and the technological barriers restricting the growth of SMA applications in the field of smart wearables are observed and elaborated.
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