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Mechanical Design and Evaluation of a Novel Knee-Ankle-Foot Robot for Rehabilitation

[+] Author Affiliations
Gong Chen, Zhao Guo, Haoyong Yu

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Paper No. DETC2015-46229, pp. V003T14A015; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2015-46229
From:
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 17th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 12th International Conference on Design Education; 8th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5710-6
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME

abstract

This paper presents the mechanical design and evaluation of a knee-ankle-foot robot, which is compact, modular, and portable for stroke patients to carry out overground gait training at outpatient and home settings. The robot is driven by a novel series elastic actuator (SEA) for safe human-robot interaction. The SEA employs one soft translational spring in series with a stiff torsion spring to achieve high intrinsic compliance and the capacity of providing peak force. The robotic joint mechanism and the selection of the actuator springs are optimized based on gait biomechanics to achieve portability and capability. The robot demonstrated stable and accuracy force control in experiments conducted on healthy subjects with overground walking. Major leg muscles of the subjects showed reduced level of activations (Electromyography, EMG) while maintaining normal gait patterns with robotic assistances, indicating the robot’s capability of providing effective gait assistance.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME

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