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Hybrid Control of the Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX)

[+] Author Affiliations
Lihua Huang, Ryan Ryan Steger, H. Kazerooni

University of California at Berkeley

Paper No. IMECE2005-80109, pp. 1429-1436; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2005-80109
From:
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Dynamic Systems and Control, Parts A and B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4216-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME

abstract

The first functional load-carrying and energetically autonomous exoskeleton was demonstrated at U.C. Berkeley, walking at the average speed of 0.9 m/s (2 mph) while carrying a 34 kg (75 lb) payload. The original BLEEX sensitivity amplification controller, based on positive feedback, was designed to increase the closed loop system sensitivity to its wearer’s forces and torques without any direct measurement from the wearer. The controller was successful at allowing natural and unobstructed load support for the pilot. This article presents an improved control scheme we call “mixed” control that adds robustness to changing BLEEX backpack payload. The walking gait cycle is divided into stance control and swing control phases. Position control is used for the BLEEX stance leg (including torso and backpack) and the sensitivity amplification controller is used for the swing leg. The controller is also designed to smoothly transitions between these two schemes as the pilot walks. With mixed control, the controller does not require a good model of the BLEEX torso and payload, which is difficult to obtain and subject to change as payload is added and removed. As a tradeoff, the position control used in this method requires the human to wear seven inclinometers to measure human limb and torso angles. These additional sensors require careful design to securely fasten them to the human and increase the time to don (and doff) BLEEX.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME

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