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Preliminary Design and Simulation of a Pneumatic, Stored-Energy, Hybrid Orthosis for Gait Restoration

[+] Author Affiliations
William K. Durfee, Adam Rivard

University of Minnesota

Paper No. IMECE2004-60075, pp. 235-241; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Fluid Power Systems and Technology
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluid Power Systems and Technology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4710-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Loss of mobility due to lower limb paralysis is a common result of thoracic level spinal cord injury (SCI). Functional electrical stimulation (FES) can restore primitive gait in the vicinity of a wheelchair by using electrical stimulation to generate muscle contractions. A new concept for FES-assisted gait is presented that combines electrical stimulation with an orthosis that contains a fluid power system to store and transfer energy during the gait cycle. The Energy Storage Orthosis (ESO) can be driven through a complete gait cycle using only stimulation of the quadriceps muscles. The conceptual design of the ESO was completed and implemented in a dynamic simulation model and in a benchtop prototype for engineering measurements. No studies were conducted with human subjects. The results demonstrate the potential of the ESO concept and the validity of the simulation model as a means for designing the system.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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