[Detection of Heel-off Initiation Based on the Relationship Between Ground Reaction Forces and Surface Electromyography: Heel-toe, Heel-toe, a Story]
The global population over the age of 60 is estimated to rise to 23% by 2050 only increase the prevalence of functional neurological disorders and stroke. Increase in cases of functional neurological disorders and strokes will place a greater burden on the healthcare industry, specifically physical therapy. Physical therapy is vital for a patient’s recovery of motor function which is time demanding and taxing on the physical therapist. Wearable robotics have been proven to improve functional outcomes in gait rehabilitation by providing controlled high dosage and high-intensity training. Accurate control strategies for assistive robotic exoskeletons are vital for repetitive high precisions assistance for cerebral plasticity to occur.
This thesis presents a preliminary determination and design of a control algorithm for an assistive ankle device developed by the ASU RISE Laboratory. The assistive ankle device functions by compressing a spring upon heel strike during gait, remaining compressed during mid-stance and then releasing upon initiation of heel-off. The relationship between surface electromyography and ground reactions forces were used for identification of user-initiated heel-off. The muscle activation of the tibialis anterior combined with the ground reaction forces of the heel pressure sensor generated potential features that will be utilized in the revised control algorithm for the assistive ankle device. Work on this project must proceed in order to test and validate the revised control algorithm to determine its accuracy and precision.