Human power amplifier for lifting load with slack prevention apparatus

Patent No. 6,886,812

Issued: May 3, 2005
Filed: April 16, 2003

Inventor: Kazerooni; Hamayoon (2806 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705)

A human power amplifier includes an end-effector that is grasped by a human operator and applied to a load. The end-effector is suspended, via a line, from a take-up pulley, winch, or drum that is driven by an actuator to lift or lower the load. The end-effector includes a force sensor that measures the vertical force imposed on the end-effector by the operator and delivers a signal to a controller. The controller and actuator are structured in such a way that a predetermined percentage of the force necessary to lift or lower the load is applied by the actuator, with the remaining force being supplied by the operator. The load thus feels lighter to the operator, but the operator does not lose the sense of lifting against both the gravitation and inertial forces originating in the load.

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