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  1. This paper presents the design and preliminary testing of an instrumented exoskeleton system, which is targeted at collecting gait data of the human locomotion to support the controller development of lower-limb wearable robots. This compact and lightweight device features a unique two-degree-of-freedom joint to minimize the interference to the user movement and a simple yet effective adjustment mechanism to fit subjects at different heights. For the gait measurement, the device incorporates embedded joint goniometers to obtain the knee and ankle positions, and inertial measurement units to obtain three-dimensional kinematic information. Force-sensing resistors are also incorporated into the shoe insole formore »plantar pressure measurement. Sensor signals are routed to an onboard microcontroller system for data storage and transfer, and the system is fully self-contained with onboard battery to facilitate data collection in various environments. A prototype of the exoskeleton was fabricated, and preliminary testing was conducted on two healthy subjects in various postures and modes of movement (walking, sitting, standing, stair climbing, etc.). The evaluation of a temporal event detection test showed no more than 5.5% mean variation in the measure of step counts by the sensory system and video annotation. These results indicate that the exoskeleton can provide an accurate measurement of gait information, using measurements taken from external video recordings as the benchmark in this preliminary validation study.« less
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