Matching Items (7)

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Soft Robotics: A Quasi-Passive Knee Brace to Assist in Lifting

Description

This research evaluated soft robotic knee brace designs that were intended to reduce the risk of injury, chronic pain, and osteoarthritis in laborers tasked with repetitive lifting. A soft robotic quasi-passive system was proposed due to energy efficiency, comfortability, and

This research evaluated soft robotic knee brace designs that were intended to reduce the risk of injury, chronic pain, and osteoarthritis in laborers tasked with repetitive lifting. A soft robotic quasi-passive system was proposed due to energy efficiency, comfortability, and weight. The researcher developed three quasi-passive knee brace systems that would store energy when the user attempted a squat lift and release the energy when the user stood up. The first design focused on using clamped layered leaf springs to create an increased resistive force when the user bends at the knee. The researchers found that because of the unideal clamping of the springs the design failed to produce a significant increase to the forces the user experienced. The second design used a change in length of the layered leaf springs to provide a significant change in force. Through simple tests, the researchers found that the design did create a change in force significant enough to warrant further testing of the design in the future. The third and final design was inspired by a previous honors thesis by Ryan Bellman, this design used pre-stretched elastic bands to create an increased bending moment. Through experimental testing, the researchers found that the elastic bands created a factor increase of 8 from a non-loaded test. Further work would include prototyping a knee brace design and developing a method to allow the user to stretch and unstretch the elastic bands at will. In conclusion, design 2 and design 3 have the potential to significantly increase the well being of workers and increase their knee longevity.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Variable Damping Control of the Robotic Ankle Joint to Improve Trade-off between Agility and Stability

Description

This paper presents a variable damping controller that can be implemented into wearable and exoskeleton robots. The variable damping controller functions by providing different levels of robotic damping from negative to positive to the coupled human-robot system. The wearable ankle

This paper presents a variable damping controller that can be implemented into wearable and exoskeleton robots. The variable damping controller functions by providing different levels of robotic damping from negative to positive to the coupled human-robot system. The wearable ankle robot was used to test this control strategy in the different directions of motion. The range of damping applied was selected based on the known inherent damping of the human ankle, ensuring that the coupled system became positively damped, and therefore stable. Human experiments were performed to understand and quantify the effects of the variable damping controller on the human user. Within the study, the human subjects performed a target reaching exercise while the ankle robot provided the system with constant positive, constant negative, or variable damping. These three damping conditions could then be compared to analyze the performance of the system. The following performance measures were selected: maximum speed to quantify agility, maximum overshoot to quantify stability, and muscle activation to quantify effort required by the human user. Maximum speed was found to be statistically the same in the variable damping controller and the negative damping condition and to be increased from positive damping controller to variable damping condition by 57.9%, demonstrating the agility of the system. Maximum overshoot was found to significantly decrease overshoot from the negative damping condition to the variable damping controller by 39.6%, demonstrating an improvement in system stability with the variable damping controller. Muscle activation results showed that the variable damping controller required less effort than the positive damping condition, evidenced by the decreased muscle activation of 23.8%. Overall, the study demonstrated that a variable damping controller can balance the trade-off between agility and stability in human-robot interactions and therefore has many practical implications.

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Date Created
2019-12

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ROBOTIC SHOE: AN ANKLE ASSISTIVE DEVICE FOR GAIT PLANTAR FLEXION ASSISTANCE

Description

The mean age of the world’s population is rapidly increasing and with that growth in an aging population a large number of elderly people are in need of walking assistance. In addition, a number of medical conditions contribute to gait

The mean age of the world’s population is rapidly increasing and with that growth in an aging population a large number of elderly people are in need of walking assistance. In addition, a number of medical conditions contribute to gait disorders that require gait rehabilitation. Wearable robotics can be used to improve functional outcomes in the gait rehabilitation process. The ankle push-off phase of an individual’s gait is vital to their ability to walk and propel themselves forward. During the ankle push-off phase of walking, plantar flexors are required to providing a large amount of force to power the heel off the ground.

The purpose of this project is to improve upon the passive ankle foot orthosis originally designed in the ASU’s Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory (RISE Lab). This device utilizes springs positioned parallel to the user’s Achilles tendon which store energy to be released during the push off phase of the user’s gait cycle. Goals of the project are to improve the speed and reliability of the ratchet and pawl mechanism, design the device to fit a wider range of shoe sizes, and reduce the overall mass and size of the device. The resulting system is semi-passive and only utilizes a single solenoid to unlock the ratcheting mechanism when the spring’s potential force is required. The device created also utilizes constant force springs rather than traditional linear springs which allows for a more predictable level of force. A healthy user tested the device on a treadmill and surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors were placed on the user’s plantar flexor muscles to monitor potential reductions in muscular activity resulting from the assistance provided by the AFO device. The data demonstrates the robotic shoe was able to assist during the heel-off stage and reduced activation in the plantar flexor muscles was evident from the EMG data collected. As this is an ongoing research project, this thesis will also recommend possible design upgrades and changes to be made to the device in the future. These upgrades include utilizing a carbon fiber or lightweight plastic frame such as many of the traditional ankle foot-orthosis sold today and introducing a system to regulate the amount of spring force applied as a function of the force required at specific times of the heel off gait phase.

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Date Created
2019-12

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Evaluation of Machine Learning Algorithms for Modeling Therapist Assistance during Gait Rehabilitation

Description

Robotic assisted devices in gait rehabilitation have not seen penetration into clinical settings proportionate to the developments in this field. A possible reason for this is due to the development and evaluation of these devices from a predominantly engineering perspective.

Robotic assisted devices in gait rehabilitation have not seen penetration into clinical settings proportionate to the developments in this field. A possible reason for this is due to the development and evaluation of these devices from a predominantly engineering perspective. One way to mitigate this effect is to further include the principles of neurophysiology into the development of these systems. To further include these principles, this research proposes a method for grounded evaluation of three machine learning algorithms to gain insight on what modeling approaches are able to both replicate therapist assistance and emulate therapist strategies. The algorithms evaluated in this paper include ordinary least squares regression (OLS), gaussian process regression (GPR) and inverse reinforcement learning (IRL). The results show that grounded evaluation is able to provide evidence to support the algorithms at a higher resolution. Also, it was observed that GPR is likely the most accurate algorithm to replicate therapist assistance and to emulate therapist adaptation strategies.

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Created

Date Created
2021

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Design of a Knee Exoskeleton for Gait Assistance

Description

The world population is aging. Age-related disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury are increasing rapidly, and such patients often suffer from mobility impairment. Wearable robotic exoskeletons are developed that serve as rehabilitation devices for these patients. In this

The world population is aging. Age-related disorders such as stroke and spinal cord injury are increasing rapidly, and such patients often suffer from mobility impairment. Wearable robotic exoskeletons are developed that serve as rehabilitation devices for these patients. In this thesis, a knee exoskeleton design with higher torque output compared to the first version, is designed and fabricated.

A series elastic actuator is one of the many actuation mechanisms employed in exoskeletons. In this mechanism a torsion spring is used between the actuator and human joint. It serves as torque sensor and energy buffer, making it compact and

safe.

A version of knee exoskeleton was developed using the SEA mechanism. It uses worm gear and spur gear combination to amplify the assistive torque generated from the DC motor. It weighs 1.57 kg and provides a maximum assistive torque of 11.26 N·m. It can be used as a rehabilitation device for patients affected with knee joint impairment.

A new version of exoskeleton design is proposed as an improvement over the first version. It consists of components such as brushless DC motor and planetary gear that are selected to meet the design requirements and biomechanical considerations. All the other components such as bevel gear and torsion spring are selected to be compatible with the exoskeleton. The frame of the exoskeleton is modeled in SolidWorks to be modular and easy to assemble. It is fabricated using sheet metal aluminum. It is designed to provide a maximum assistive torque of 23 N·m, two times over the present exoskeleton. A simple brace is 3D printed, making it easy to wear and use. It weighs 2.4 kg.

The exoskeleton is equipped with encoders that are used to measure spring deflection and motor angle. They act as sensors for precise control of the exoskeleton.

An impedance-based control is implemented using NI MyRIO, a FPGA based controller. The motor is controlled using a motor driver and powered using an external battery source. The bench tests and walking tests are presented. The new version of exoskeleton is compared with first version and state of the art devices.

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Created

Date Created
2018

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Development of a Novel Low Inertia Exoskeleton Device for Characterizing the Neuromuscular Properties of the Human Shoulder

Description

The human shoulder plays an integral role in upper limb motor function. As the basis of arm motion, its performance is vital to the accomplishment of daily tasks. Impaired motor control, as a result of stroke or other disease, can

The human shoulder plays an integral role in upper limb motor function. As the basis of arm motion, its performance is vital to the accomplishment of daily tasks. Impaired motor control, as a result of stroke or other disease, can cause errors in shoulder position to accumulate and propagate to the entire arm. This is why it is a highlight of concern for clinicians and why it is an important point of study. One of the primary causes of impaired shoulder motor control is abnormal mechanical joint impedance, which can be modeled as a 2nd order system consisting of mass, spring and damper. Quantifying shoulder stiffness and damping between healthy and impaired subjects could help improve our collective understanding of how many different neuromuscular diseases impact arm performance. This improved understanding could even lead to better rehabilitation protocols for conditions such as stroke through better identification and targeting of damping dependent spasticity and stiffness dependent hypertonicity. Despite its importance, there is a fundamental knowledge gap in the understanding of shoulder impedance, mainly due to a lack of appropriate characterization tools. Therefore, in order to better quantify shoulder stiffness and damping, a novel low-inertia shoulder exoskeleton is introduced in this work. The device was developed using a newly pioneered parallel actuated robot architecture specifically designed to interface with complex biological joints like the shoulder, hip, wrist and ankle. In addition to presenting the kinematics and dynamics of the shoulder exoskeleton, a series of validation experiments are performed on a human shoulder mock-up to quantify its ability to estimate known impedance properties. Finally, some preliminary data from human experiments is provided to demonstrate the device’s ability to collect the measurements needed to estimate shoulder stiffness and damping while worn by a subject.

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Date Created
2020

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Design and Development of Exoskeletons for Squatting, Gait Assistance, and Fall Prevention Applications

Description

This research seeks to present the design and testing of exoskeletons capable of assisting with walking gait, squatting, and fall prevention activities. The dissertation introduces wearable
robotics and exoskeletons and then progresses into specific applications and developments in the
targeted

This research seeks to present the design and testing of exoskeletons capable of assisting with walking gait, squatting, and fall prevention activities. The dissertation introduces wearable
robotics and exoskeletons and then progresses into specific applications and developments in the
targeted field. Following the introduction, chapters present and discuss different wearable
exoskeletons built to address known issues with workers and individuals with increased risk of fall.
The presentation is concluded by an overall analysis of the resulting developments and identifying
future work in the field.

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Created

Date Created
2021