For the controller of wearable lower-limb assistive devices, quantitative understanding of human locomotion serves as the basis for human motion intent recognition and joint-level motion control. Traditionally, the required gait data are obtained in gait research laboratories, utilizing marker-based optical motion capture systems. Despite the high accuracy of measurement, marker-based systems are largely limited to laboratory environments, making it nearly impossible to collect the desired gait data in real-world daily-living scenarios. To address this problem, the authors propose a novel exoskeleton-based gait data collection system, which provides the capability of conducting independent measurement of lower limb movement without the need for stationary instrumentation. The basis of the system is a lightweight exoskeleton with articulated knee and ankle joints. To minimize the interference to a wearer’s natural lower-limb movement, a unique two-degrees-of-freedom joint design is incorporated, integrating a primary degree of freedom for joint motion measurement with a passive degree of freedom to allow natural joint movement and improve the comfort of use. In addition to the joint-embedded goniometers, the exoskeleton also features multiple positions for the mounting of inertia measurement units (IMUs) as well as foot-plate-embedded force sensing resistors to measure the foot plantar pressure. All sensor signals are routedmore »
Kinematic Design and Evaluation of a Six-Bar Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis
Abstract This paper presents a new two-step design procedure and preliminary kinematic evaluation of a novel, passive, six-bar knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO). The kinematic design and preliminary kinematic gait analysis of the KAFO are based on motion capture data from a single healthy male subject. Preliminary kinematic evaluation shows that the designed passive KAFO is capable of supporting flexion and extension of the knee joint during stance and swing phases of walking. The two-step design procedure for the KAFO consists of (1) computational synthesis based on user's motion data and (2) performance optimization. In the computational synthesis step, first the lower leg (knee-ankle-foot) of the subject is approximated as a 2R kinematic chain and its target trajectories are specified from motion capture data. Six-bar linkages are synthesized to coordinate the angular movements of knee and ankle joints of the 2R chain at 11 accuracy points. The first step of the design procedure yields 332 six-bar KAFO design candidates. This is followed by a performance optimization step in which the KAFO design candidates are optimally modified to satisfy specified constraints on end-effector trajectory and shape. This two-step process yields an optimally designed passive six-bar KAFO that shows promising kinematic results at the more »
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- Journal of Engineering and Science in Medical Diagnostics and Therapy
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- National Science Foundation
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