WorldWideScience

Sample records for exoskeleton

  1. The exoskeletons are here

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferris Daniel P

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is a fantastic time for the field of robotic exoskeletons. Recent advances in actuators, sensors, materials, batteries, and computer processors have given new hope to creating the exoskeletons of yesteryear's science fiction. While the most common goal of an exoskeleton is to provide superhuman strength or endurance, scientists and engineers around the world are building exoskeletons with a wide range of diverse purposes. Exoskeletons can help patients with neurological disabilities improve their motor performance by providing task specific practice. Exoskeletons can help physiologists better understand how the human body works by providing a novel experimental perturbation. Exoskeletons can even help power mobile phones, music players, and other portable electronic devices by siphoning mechanical work performed during human locomotion. This special thematic series on robotic lower limb exoskeletons and orthoses includes eight papers presenting novel contributions to the field. The collective message of the papers is that robotic exoskeletons will contribute in many ways to the future benefit of humankind, and that future is not that distant.

  2. Upper Limb Exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusak, Z.; Luijten, J.; Kooijman, A.

    2015-01-01

    The present invention relates a wearable exoskeleton for a user having a torso with an upper limb to support motion of the said upper limb. The wearable exoskeleton comprises a first fixed frame mountable to the torso, an upper arm brace and a first group of actuators for moving the upper arm brace

  3. Upper Limb Exoskeleton

    OpenAIRE

    Rusak, Z.; Luijten, J.; Kooijman, A.

    2015-01-01

    The present invention relates a wearable exoskeleton for a user having a torso with an upper limb to support motion of the said upper limb. The wearable exoskeleton comprises a first fixed frame mountable to the torso, an upper arm brace and a first group of actuators for moving the upper arm brace relative to the first fixed frame. In an example the present invention is for use in post-stroke therapy.

  4. Exoskeleton plantarflexion assistance for elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, S; Derave, W; Bossuyt, F; Calders, P; Malcolm, P; De Clercq, D

    2017-02-01

    Elderly are confronted with reduced physical capabilities and increased metabolic energy cost of walking. Exoskeletons that assist walking have the potential to restore walking capacity by reducing the metabolic cost of walking. However, it is unclear if current exoskeletons can reduce energy cost in elderly. Our goal was to study the effect of an exoskeleton that assists plantarflexion during push-off on the metabolic energy cost of walking in physically active and healthy elderly. Seven elderly (age 69.3±3.5y) walked on treadmill (1.11ms2) with normal shoes and with the exoskeleton both powered (with assistance) and powered-off (without assistance). After 20min of habituation on a prior day and 5min on the test day, subjects were able to walk with the exoskeleton and assistance of the exoskeleton resulted in a reduction in metabolic cost of 12% versus walking with the exoskeleton powered-off. Walking with the exoskeleton was perceived less fatiguing for the muscles compared to normal walking. Assistance resulted in a statistically nonsignificant reduction in metabolic cost of 4% versus walking with normal shoes, likely due to the penalty of wearing the exoskeleton powered-off. Also, exoskeleton mechanical power was relatively low compared to previously identified optimal assistance magnitude in young adults. Future exoskeleton research should focus on further optimizing exoskeleton assistance for specific populations and on considerate integration of exoskeletons in rehabilitation or in daily life. As such, exoskeletons should allow people to walk longer or faster than without assistance and could result in an increase in physical activity and resulting health benefits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Towards exoskeletons with balance capacities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooij, Herman; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; Vlutters, Mark; González-Vargas, José; Ibáñez, Jaime; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L.; van der Kooij, Herman; Pons, José Luis

    2017-01-01

    Current exoskeletons replay pre-programmed trajectories at the actuated joints. Towards the employment of exoskeletons with more flexible and adaptive behavior, we investigate human balance control during gait. We study human balance control by applying brief force pulses at the pelvis in different

  6. Evaluation of the Achilles Ankle Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Wietse; Meijneke, Cory; van der Kooij, Herman

    2017-02-01

    This paper evaluates the Achilles exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is intended to provide push-off assistance for healthy subjects during walking. The assistance is provided by a series elastic actuator that has been optimized to provide maximal push-off power. The paper presents the control method of the exoskeleton and the evaluation of the exoskeleton.

  7. Small Business Innovations (Exoskeletons)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The Dexterous Hand Master (DHM), a 1989 winner of an R&D 100 Award, is an exoskeleton device for measuring the joints of the human hand with extreme precision. It was originally developed for NASA by Arthur D. Little, and is sold commercially by EXOS, Inc. The DHM is worn on the hand and connected to a computer that records hand motions. The resulting data is transmitted as control signals to robots and other computers, enabling robotic hands to emulate human hand actions. Two additional spinoff products were also inspired by the DHM.

  8. Rehabilitative Soft Exoskeleton for Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florez, Juan Manuel; Shah, Manan; Moraud, Eduardo Martin; Wurth, Sophie; Baud, Laetitia; Von Zitzewitz, Joachim; van den Brand, Rubia; Micera, Silvestro; Courtine, Gregoire; Paik, Jamie

    2017-02-01

    Robotic exoskeletons provide programmable, consistent and controllable active therapeutic assistance to patients with neurological disorders. Here we introduce a prototype and preliminary experimental evaluation of a rehabilitative gait exoskeleton that enables compliant yet effective manipulation of the fragile limbs of rats. To assist the displacements of the lower limbs without impeding natural gait movements, we designed and fabricated soft pneumatic actuators (SPAs). The exoskeleton integrates two customizable SPAs that are attached to a limb. This configuration enables a 1 N force load, a range of motion exceeding 80 mm in the major axis, and speed of actuation reaching two gait cycles/s. Preliminary experiments in rats with spinal cord injury validated the basic features of the exoskeleton. We propose strategies to improve the performance of the robot and discuss the potential of SPAs for the design of other wearable interfaces.

  9. Running With an Elastic Lower Limb Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, Michael S; Kota, Sridhar; Young, Aaron; Ferris, Daniel P

    2016-06-01

    Although there have been many lower limb robotic exoskeletons that have been tested for human walking, few devices have been tested for assisting running. It is possible that a pseudo-passive elastic exoskeleton could benefit human running without the addition of electrical motors due to the spring-like behavior of the human leg. We developed an elastic lower limb exoskeleton that added stiffness in parallel with the entire lower limb. Six healthy, young subjects ran on a treadmill at 2.3 m/s with and without the exoskeleton. Although the exoskeleton was designed to provide ~50% of normal leg stiffness during running, it only provided 24% of leg stiffness during testing. The difference in added leg stiffness was primarily due to soft tissue compression and harness compliance decreasing exoskeleton displacement during stance. As a result, the exoskeleton only supported about 7% of the peak vertical ground reaction force. There was a significant increase in metabolic cost when running with the exoskeleton compared with running without the exoskeleton (ANOVA, P exoskeletons for human running are human-machine interface compliance and the extra lower limb inertia from the exoskeleton.

  10. Fundamentals of ergonomic exoskeleton robots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schiele, A.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis is the first to provide the fundamentals of ergonomic exoskeleton design. The fundamental theory as well as technology necessary to analyze and develop ergonomic wearable robots interacting with humans is established and validated by experiments and prototypes. The fundamentals are (1) a

  11. Customizable Rehabilitation Lower Limb Exoskeleton System

    OpenAIRE

    Riaan Stopforth

    2012-01-01

    Disabled people require assistance with the motion of their lower limbs to improve rehabilitation. Exoskeletons used for lower limb rehabilitation are highly priced and are not affordable to the lowerincome sector of the population. This paper describes an exoskeleton lower limb system that was designed keeping in mind that the cost must be as low as possible. The forward kinematic system that is used must be a simplified model to decrease computational time, yet allow the exoskeleton to be a...

  12. A Portable Passive Physiotherapeutic Exoskeleton

    OpenAIRE

    Naidu, Dasheek; Stopforth, Riaan; Bright, Glen; Davrajh, Shaniel

    2012-01-01

    The public healthcare system in South Africa is in need of urgent attention in no small part because there has been an escalation in the number of stroke victims which could be due to the increase in hypertension in this urbanizing society. There is a growing need for physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the country, which is further hindered by the division between urban and rural areas. A possible solution is a portable passive physiotherapeutic exoskeleton device. The exoskeleto...

  13. A Portable Passive Physiotherapeutic Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dasheek Naidu

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The public healthcare system in South Africa is in need of urgent attention in no small part because there has been an escalation in the number of stroke victims which could be due to the increase in hypertension in this urbanizing society. There is a growing need for physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the country, which is further hindered by the division between urban and rural areas. A possible solution is a portable passive physiotherapeutic exoskeleton device. The exoskeleton device has been formulated to encapsulate methodologies that enable the anthropomorphic integration between a biological and mechatronic limb. A physiotherapeutic mechanism was designed to be portable and adjustable, without limiting the spherical motion and workspace of the human arm. The exoskeleton was designed to be portable in the sense that it could be transported geographically. It is a complete device allowing for motion in the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand joints. The inverse kinematics was solved iteratively via the Damped Least Squares (DLS method. The electronic and computer system allowed for professional personnel to either change an individual joint or a combination of joints angles via the kinematic models. A ramp PI controller was established to provide a smooth response to simulate the passive therapy motion.

  14. Evaluation of the achilles ankle exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Wietse; Meijneke, Cory; Van Der Kooij, Herman

    2017-01-01

    This paper evaluates the Achilles exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is intended to provide push-off assistance for healthy subjects during walking. The assistance is provided by a series elastic actuator that has been optimized to provide maximal push-off power. The paper presents the control method of

  15. Customizable Rehabilitation Lower Limb Exoskeleton System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riaan Stopforth

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Disabled people require assistance with the motion of their lower limbs to improve rehabilitation. Exoskeletons used for lower limb rehabilitation are highly priced and are not affordable to the lowerincome sector of the population. This paper describes an exoskeleton lower limb system that was designed keeping in mind that the cost must be as low as possible. The forward kinematic system that is used must be a simplified model to decrease computational time, yet allow the exoskeleton to be adjustable according to the patient's leg dimensions.

  16. Exoskeleton Motion Control for Children Walking Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Ploscaru

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a quick method for motion control of an exoskeleton used on children walking rehabilitation with ages between four to seven years old. The exoskeleton used on this purpose has six servomotors which work independently and actuates each human lower limb joints (hips, knees and ankles. For obtaining the desired motion laws, a high-speed motion analysis equipment was used. The experimental rough data were mathematically modeled in order to obtain the proper motion equations for controlling the exoskeleton servomotors.

  17. Force Reflection Algorithms for Exoskeleton Controllers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bryfogle, Mark

    1991-01-01

    This research effort investigated the kinematics and dynamics of open chain, serial linkage mechanisms with specific emphasis placed upon the application of this linkage as a force reflecting exoskeleton mechanism...

  18. Buckling failures in insect exoskeletons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parle, Eoin; Herbaj, Simona; Sheils, Fiona; Larmon, Hannah; Taylor, David

    2015-12-17

    Thin walled tubes are often used for load-bearing structures, in nature and in engineering, because they offer good resistance to bending and torsion at relatively low weight. However, when loaded in bending they are prone to failure by buckling. It is difficult to predict the loading conditions which cause buckling, especially for tubes whose cross sections are not simple shapes. Insights into buckling prevention might be gained by studying this phenomenon in the exoskeletons of insects and other arthropods. We investigated the leg segments (tibiae) of five different insects: the locust (Schistocerca gergaria), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), death's head cockroach (Blaberus discoidalis), stick insect (Parapachymorpha zomproi) and bumblebee (Bombus terrestris audax). These were tested to failure in cantilever bending and modelled using finite element analysis (FEA). The tibiae of the locust and the cockroaches were found to be approximately circular in shape. Their buckling loads were well predicted by linear elastic FEA, and also by one of the analytical solutions available in the literature for elastic buckling. The legs of the stick insect are also circular in cross section but have several prominent longitudinal ridges. We hypothesised that these ridges might protect the legs against buckling but we found that this was not the case: the loads necessary for elastic buckling were not reached in practice because yield occurred in the material, causing plastic buckling. The legs of bees have a non-circular cross section due to a pollen-carrying feature (the corbicula). We found that this did not significantly affect their resistance to buckling. Our results imply that buckling is the dominant failure mode in the tibia of insects; it likely to be a significant consideration for other arthropods and any organisms with stiff exoskeletons. The interactions displayed here between material properties and cross sectional geometry may provide insights for the

  19. EMG patterns during assisted walking in the exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sylos-Labini, F.; La Scaleia, V.; d' Avella, A.; Pisotta, I.; Tamburella, F.; Scivoletto, G.; Molinari, M.; Wang, S.; Wang, Letian; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; van der Kooij, Herman; Hoellinger, T.; Cheron, G.; Thorsteinsson, F.; Ilzkovitz, M.; Gancet, J.; Hauffe, R.; Zanov, F.; Lacquaniti, F.; Ivanenko, Y.P.

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthetic technology and robotic exoskeletons are being developed to facilitate stepping, reduce muscle efforts, and promote motor recovery. Nevertheless, the guidance forces of an exoskeleton may influence the sensory inputs, sensorimotor interactions and resulting muscle activity patterns

  20. Design and evaluation of a new exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    I. D. Geonea; D. Tarnita

    2017-01-01

    This work addresses the design and numerical characterization of a new exoskeleton solution for human leg motion assistance and rehabilitation. The exoskeleton solution is anthropomorphic, simple, low cost and easy to adapt on the human subject. The design aspect concerns the exoskeleton mechatronic structure, achieved in SolidWorks virtual environment. Numerical simulation is performed in MSC.ADAMS simulation environment. Obtained results for the exoskeleton computed motion...

  1. XPED2: A passive exoskeleton with artificial tendons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Wietse; van der Kooij, Herman

    2014-01-01

    Wearable exoskeletons might reduce human effort during walking. However, many of the current exoskeletons rely on heavy actuators and/or external power supplies; this has a negative impact on their efficiency and operation range. As an alternative, (quasi)passive exoskeletons have been developed.

  2. Controlling pneumatic artificial muscles in exoskeletons with surface electromyography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groenhuis, Vincent; Chandrapal, Mervin; Stramigioli, Stefano; Chen, XiaoQi

    2014-01-01

    Powered exoskeletons are gaining more interest in the last few years, as useful devices to provide assistance to elderly and disabled people. Many different types of powered exoskeletons have been studied in the past. In this research paper, a soft lower limb exoskeleton driven by pneumatic

  3. Muscle recruitment and coordination with an ankle exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Katherine M; Jackson, Rachel W; Shuman, Benjamin R; Collins, Steven H

    2017-07-05

    Exoskeletons have the potential to assist and augment human performance. Understanding how users adapt their movement and neuromuscular control in response to external assistance is important to inform the design of these devices. The aim of this research was to evaluate changes in muscle recruitment and coordination for ten unimpaired individuals walking with an ankle exoskeleton. We evaluated changes in the activity of individual muscles, cocontraction levels, and synergistic patterns of muscle coordination with increasing exoskeleton work and torque. Participants were able to selectively reduce activity of the ankle plantarflexors with increasing exoskeleton assistance. Increasing exoskeleton net work resulted in greater reductions in muscle activity than increasing exoskeleton torque. Patterns of muscle coordination were not restricted or constrained to synergistic patterns observed during unassisted walking. While three synergies could describe nearly 95% of the variance in electromyography data during unassisted walking, these same synergies could describe only 85-90% of the variance in muscle activity while walking with the exoskeleton. Synergies calculated with the exoskeleton demonstrated greater changes in synergy weights with increasing exoskeleton work versus greater changes in synergy activations with increasing exoskeleton torque. These results support the theory that unimpaired individuals do not exclusively use central pattern generators or other low-level building blocks to coordinate muscle activity, especially when learning a new task or adapting to external assistance, and demonstrate the potential for using exoskeletons to modulate muscle recruitment and coordination patterns for rehabilitation or performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Application of EMG signals for controlling exoskeleton robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischer, Christian; Wege, Andreas; Kondak, Konstantin; Hommel, Günter

    2006-12-01

    Exoskeleton robots are mechanical constructions attached to human body parts, containing actuators for influencing human motion. One important application area for exoskeletons is human motion support, for example, for disabled people, including rehabilitation training, and for force enhancement in healthy subjects. This paper surveys two exoskeleton systems developed in our laboratory. The first system is a lower-extremity exoskeleton with one actuated degree of freedom in the knee joint. This system was designed for motion support in disabled people. The second system is an exoskeleton for a human hand with 16 actuated joints, four for each finger. This hand exoskeleton will be used in rehabilitation training after hand surgeries. The application of EMG signals for motion control is presented. An overview of the design and control methods, and first experimental results for the leg exoskeleton are reported.

  5. SPEXOR : Towards a passive spinal exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Rijcke, L.; Näf, M.; Rodriguez-Guerrero, C.; Graimann, B.; Houdijk, H.; van Dieën, J.; Mombaur, K.; Russold, M.; Sarabon, N.; Babič, J.; Lefeber, D.

    2017-01-01

    Most assistive robotic devices are exoskeletons which assist or augment the motion of the limbs and neglect the role of the spinal column in transferring load from the upper body and arms to the legs. In this part of the SPEXOR project we will fill this gap and design a novel, passive spinal

  6. Design and Control of the MINDWALKER Exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Shiqian; Wang, Letian; Meijneke, C.; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; Hoellinger, T.; Cheron, G.; Ivanenko, Y.; La Scaleia, V.; Sylos-Labini, F.; Molinari, M.; Tamburella, F.; Pisotta, I.; Thorsteinsson, F.; Ilzkovitz, M.; Gancet, J.; Nevatia, Y.; Hauffe, R.; Zanow, F.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2015-01-01

    Powered exoskeletons can empower paraplegics to stand and walk. Actively controlled hip ab/adduction (HAA) is needed for weight shift and for lateral foot placement to support dynamic balance control and to counteract disturbances in the frontal plane. Here, we describe the design, control, and

  7. Exoskeleton for Soldier Enhancement Systems Feasibility Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansen, J.F.

    2000-09-28

    The development of a successful exoskeleton for human performance augmentation (EHPA) will require a multi-disciplinary systems approach based upon sound biomechanics, power generation and actuation systems, controls technology, and operator interfaces. The ability to integrate key components into a system that enhances performance without impeding operator mobility is essential. The purpose of this study and report are to address the issue of feasibility of building a fieldable EHPA. Previous efforts, while demonstrating progress and enhancing knowledge, have not approached the level required for a fully functional, fieldable system. It is doubtless that the technologies required for a successful exoskeleton have advanced, and some of them significantly. The question to be addressed in this report is have they advanced to the point of making a system feasible in the next three to five years? In this study, the key technologies required to successfully build an exoskeleton have been examined. The primary focus has been on the key technologies of power sources, actuators, and controls. Power sources, including internal combustion engines, fuel cells, batteries, super capacitors, and hybrid sources have been investigated and compared with respect to the exoskeleton application. Both conventional and non-conventional actuator technologies that could impact EHPA have been assessed. In addition to the current state of the art of actuators, the potential for near-term improvements using non-conventional actuators has also been addressed. Controls strategies, and their implication to the design approach, and the exoskeleton to soldier interface have also been investigated. In addition to these key subsystems and technologies, this report addresses technical concepts and issues relating to an integrated design. A recommended approach, based on the results of the study is also presented.

  8. Autonomous hip exoskeleton saves metabolic cost of walking uphill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Keehong; Lee, Jusuk; Park, Young Jin

    2017-07-01

    We have developed a hip joint exoskeleton to boost gait function in the elderly and rehabilitation of post-stroke patients. To quantitatively evaluate the impact of the power and mass of the exoskeleton, we measured the metabolic cost of walking on slopes of 0, 5, and 10% grade, once not wearing the exoskeleton and then wearing it. The exoskeleton reduced the metabolic cost by 13.5,15.5 and 9.8% (31.9, 51.6 and 45.6 W) at 0, 5, and 10% grade, respectively. The exoskeleton performance index was computed as 0.97, 1.24, and 1.24 at each grade, implicating that the hip exoskeleton was more effective on slopes than level ground in saving the metabolic cost.

  9. Design and evaluation of a new exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. D. Geonea

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This work addresses the design and numerical characterization of a new exoskeleton solution for human leg motion assistance and rehabilitation. The exoskeleton solution is anthropomorphic, simple, low cost and easy to adapt on the human subject. The design aspect concerns the exoskeleton mechatronic structure, achieved in SolidWorks virtual environment. Numerical simulation is performed in MSC.ADAMS simulation environment. Obtained results for the exoskeleton computed motion are compared with those obtained from experimental walking of healthy subject. The prototype feasibility is studied both for design and operation aspect.

  10. Autonomous exoskeleton reduces metabolic cost of human walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Luke M; Rouse, Elliott J; Herr, Hugh M

    2014-11-03

    Passive exoskeletons that assist with human locomotion are often lightweight and compact, but are unable to provide net mechanical power to the exoskeletal wearer. In contrast, powered exoskeletons often provide biologically appropriate levels of mechanical power, but the size and mass of their actuator/power source designs often lead to heavy and unwieldy devices. In this study, we extend the design and evaluation of a lightweight and powerful autonomous exoskeleton evaluated for loaded walking in (J Neuroeng Rehab 11:80, 2014) to the case of unloaded walking conditions. The metabolic energy consumption of seven study participants (85 ± 12 kg body mass) was measured while walking on a level treadmill at 1.4 m/s. Testing conditions included not wearing the exoskeleton and wearing the exoskeleton, in both powered and unpowered modes. When averaged across the gait cycle, the autonomous exoskeleton applied a mean positive mechanical power of 26 ± 1 W (13 W per ankle) with 2.12 kg of added exoskeletal foot-shank mass (1.06 kg per leg). Use of the leg exoskeleton significantly reduced the metabolic cost of walking by 35 ± 13 W, which was an improvement of 10 ± 3% (p = 0.023) relative to the control condition of not wearing the exoskeleton. The results of this study highlight the advantages of developing lightweight and powerful exoskeletons that can comfortably assist the body during walking.

  11. Human Grasp Assist Device With Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergelin, Bryan J (Inventor); Ihrke, Chris A. (Inventor); Davis, Donald R. (Inventor); Linn, Douglas Martin (Inventor); Bridgwater, Lyndon B. J. (Inventor)

    2014-01-01

    A grasp assist system includes a glove, actuator assembly, and controller. The glove includes a digit, i.e., a finger or thumb, and a force sensor. The sensor measures a grasping force applied to an object by an operator wearing the glove. Phalange rings are positioned with respect to the digit. A flexible tendon is connected at one end to one of the rings and is routed through the remaining rings. An exoskeleton positioned with respect to the digit includes hinged interconnecting members each connected to a corresponding ring, and/or a single piece of slotted material. The actuator assembly is connected to another end of the tendon. The controller calculates a tensile force in response to the measured grasping force, and commands the tensile force from the actuator assembly to thereby pull on the tendon. The exoskeleton offloads some of the tensile force from the operator's finger to the glove.

  12. ARMin - Exoskeleton Robot for Stroke Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Nef Tobias; Guidali Marco; Klamroth-Marganska Verena; Riener Robert

    2009-01-01

    Rehabilitation robots are becoming an important tool in rehabilitation of stroke SCI and other neurological pathologies. Compared to manual arm training robot supported training can be more intensive of longer duration repetitive and task oriented. Therefore such devices have the potential to improve the rehabilitation process in stroke patients. Whereas a majority of previous work in upper limb rehabilitation robotics has focused on end effector based robots a shift toward exoskeleton robots...

  13. Adaptation to walking with an exoskeleton that assists ankle extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, S; Malcolm, P; Derave, W; De Clercq, D

    2013-07-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate adaptation to walking with bilateral ankle-foot exoskeletons with kinematic control that assisted ankle extension during push-off. We hypothesized that subjects would show a neuromotor and metabolic adaptation during a 24min walking trial with a powered exoskeleton. Nine female subjects walked on a treadmill at 1.36±0.04ms(-1) during 24min with a powered exoskeleton and 4min with an unpowered exoskeleton. Subjects showed a metabolic adaptation after 18.5±5.0min, followed by an adapted period. Metabolic cost, electromyography and kinematics were compared between the unpowered condition, the beginning of the adaptation and the adapted period. In the beginning of the adaptation (4min), a reduction in metabolic cost of 9% was found compared to the unpowered condition. This reduction was accompanied by reduced muscular activity in the plantarflexor muscles, as the powered exoskeleton delivered part of the necessary ankle extension moment. During the adaptation this metabolic reduction further increased to 16%, notwithstanding a constant exoskeleton assistance. This increased reduction is the result of a neuromotor adaptation in which subjects adapt to walking with the exoskeleton, thereby reducing muscular activity in all leg muscles. Because of the fast adaptation and the significant reductions in metabolic cost we want to highlight the potential of an ankle-foot exoskeleton with kinematic control that assists ankle extension during push-off. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuromechanical adaptations during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted walking session.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanujam, Arvind; Cirnigliaro, Christopher M; Garbarini, Erica; Asselin, Pierre; Pilkar, Rakesh; Forrest, Gail F

    2017-04-20

    To evaluate gait parameters and neuromuscular profiles of exoskeleton-assisted walking under Max Assist condition during a single-session for; (i) able bodied (AB) individuals walking assisted with (EXO) and without (non-EXO) a powered exoskeleton, (ii) non-ambulatory SCI individuals walking assisted with a powered exoskeleton. Single-session. Motion analysis laboratory. Four AB individuals and four individuals with SCI. Powered lower extremity exoskeleton. Temporal-spatial parameters, kinematics, walking velocity and electromyography data. AB individuals in exoskeleton showed greater stance time and a significant reduction in walking velocity (P exoskeleton movements, they walked with an increased velocity and lowered stance time to resemble that of slow walking. For SCI individuals, mean percent stance time was higher and walking velocity was lower compared to all AB walking conditions (P exoskeleton and moreover with voluntary control there is a greater temporal-spatial response of the lower limbs. Also, there are neuromuscular phasic adaptions for both AB and SCI groups while walking in the exoskeleton that are inconsistent to non-EXO gait muscle activation.

  15. WHAT ARE USER PERSPECTIVES OF EXOSKELETON TECHNOLOGY? A LITERATURE REVIEW.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Deborah; Holloway, Catherine Sarah; Morgado Ramirez, Dafne Zuleima; Smitham, Peter; Pappas, Yannis

    2017-01-01

    Exoskeletons are electromechanical devices that are worn by a human operator to increase their physical performance. Several exoskeletons have been developed to restore functional movements, such as walking, for those with paralysis due to neurological impairment. However, existing exoskeletons have limitations with respect to affordability, size, weight, speed, and efficiency, which may reduce their functional application. Therefore, the aim of this scoping review is to collect and narratively synthesize the perspectives of users of exoskeleton technology. A systematic literature search was conducted across several healthcare related online databases. A total of 4,619 articles were identified, of which 51 were selected for full review. Only three studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. Of these, one showed an incongruence between users' expectations and experiences of device use; another reported perspectives on potential rather than actual device use, ranking design features in order of perceived importance; and the other reported ratings of ease of device use in training. The heterogeneity of studies included within this review, leave the authors unable to suggest consensus as to user perspectives of exoskeleton technology. However, it is apparent that users are able to suggest priorities for exoskeleton design and that users' perspectives of exoskeleton technology might change in response to experience of use. The authors, therefore, suggest that exoskeleton design should be an iterative process, whereby user perspectives are sought, incorporated and refined by tangible experience, to ensure that devices developed are acceptable to and usable by the populations they seek to re-enable.

  16. The clinical aspects of the upper extremity exoskeleton "EXAR" use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorobiev, A. A.; Krivonozhkina, P. S.; Andryushchenko, F. A.; Zasypkina, O. A.

    2015-11-01

    The article considers some of indications and contraindications for the use of the exoskeleton "EXAR". Our experience with the present construction use shows that the exoskeleton "EXAR" is able to make up the following lost or disturbed muscle functions:- an arm raise; a drawing of the arm aside from the trunk;- a bending of the arm in shoulder or elbow joints.

  17. A Simulation Framework for Virtual Prototyping of Robotic Exoskeletons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Priyanshu; Neptune, Richard R; Deshpande, Ashish D

    2016-06-01

    A number of robotic exoskeletons are being developed to provide rehabilitation interventions for those with movement disabilities. We present a systematic framework that allows for virtual prototyping (i.e., design, control, and experimentation (i.e. design, control, and experimentation) of robotic exoskeletons. The framework merges computational musculoskeletal analyses with simulation-based design techniques which allows for exoskeleton design and control algorithm optimization. We introduce biomechanical, morphological, and controller measures to optimize the exoskeleton performance. A major advantage of the framework is that it provides a platform for carrying out hypothesis-driven virtual experiments to quantify device performance and rehabilitation progress. To illustrate the efficacy of the framework, we present a case study wherein the design and analysis of an index finger exoskeleton is carried out using the proposed framework.

  18. [Study on an Exoskeleton Hand Function Training Device].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xin; Zhang, Ying; Li, Jicai; Yi, Jinhua; Yu, Hongliu; He, Rongrong

    2016-02-01

    Based on the structure and motion bionic principle of the normal adult fingers, biological characteristics of human hands were analyzed, and a wearable exoskeleton hand function training device for the rehabilitation of stroke patients or patients with hand trauma was designed. This device includes the exoskeleton mechanical structure and the electromyography (EMG) control system. With adjustable mechanism, the device was capable to fit different finger lengths, and by capturing the EMG of the users' contralateral limb, the motion state of the exoskeleton hand was controlled. Then driven by the device, the user's fingers conducting adduction/abduction rehabilitation training was carried out. Finally, the mechanical properties and training effect of the exoskeleton hand were verified through mechanism simulation and the experiments on the experimental prototype of the wearable exoskeleton hand function training device.

  19. Design and Implementation of NTU Wearable Exoskeleton as an Enhancement and Assistive Device

    OpenAIRE

    Low, K.H.; Liu, X.; Yu, H.

    2006-01-01

    This article presents a wearable lower extremity exoskeleton (LEE) developed to enhance the ability of a human’s walking while carrying heavy loads. The ultimate goal of the current research work is to design and control a power assist system that integrates a human’s intellect for feedback and sensory purposes. The exoskeleton system in this work consists of an inner exoskeleton and an outer exoskeleton. The inner exoskeleton measures the movements of the wearer and provides these measuremen...

  20. Shoulder-elbow exoskeleton as rehabilitation exerciser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ianoşi, A.; Dimitrova, A.; Noveanu, S.; Tătar, O. M.; Mândru, D. S.

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents a 2 degree of freedom exoskeleton designed for the rehabilitation of the shoulder and elbow movement in the sagittal plane; a semi-portable design strategy was chosen, which enables an easy attachment to a standard medical chair as well as the patient upper limb. A dedicated driver enables the control from a graphical user interface, which also provides the option of customized rehabilitation exercises. The potential of future improvements is assessed, and recommendations of research direction are made in order to broaden the usability of the proposed device.

  1. An Exoskeleton Robot for Human Forearm and Wrist Motion Assist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranathunga Arachchilage Ruwan Chandra Gopura; Kiguchi, Kazuo

    The exoskeleton robot is worn by the human operator as an orthotic device. Its joints and links correspond to those of the human body. The same system operated in different modes can be used for different fundamental applications; a human-amplifier, haptic interface, rehabilitation device and assistive device sharing a portion of the external load with the operator. We have been developing exoskeleton robots for assisting the motion of physically weak individuals such as elderly or slightly disabled in daily life. In this paper, we propose a three degree of freedom (3DOF) exoskeleton robot (W-EXOS) for the forearm pronation/ supination motion, wrist flexion/extension motion and ulnar/radial deviation. The paper describes the wrist anatomy toward the development of the exoskeleton robot, the hardware design of the exoskeleton robot and EMG-based control method. The skin surface electromyographic (EMG) signals of muscles in forearm of the exoskeletons' user and the hand force/forearm torque are used as input information for the controller. By applying the skin surface EMG signals as main input signals to the controller, automatic control of the robot can be realized without manipulating any other equipment. Fuzzy control method has been applied to realize the natural and flexible motion assist. Experiments have been performed to evaluate the proposed exoskeleton robot and its control method.

  2. learning algorithms for sensor interpretation on an exo-skeleton

    OpenAIRE

    Bonné, Ruben

    2017-01-01

    COMmeto, active in software architecture services and software development, is involved together with 7 other partners in a European project called Axo-Suit to develop an assistive exo-skeleton for elderly people. COMmeto is responsible for the software architecture. In the case of the arm of the exo-skeleton the adjustment of the exo-skeleton to a person is carried out manually which takes a long time. This thesis focuses on the development of a machine learning algorithm to detect and class...

  3. A Finger Exoskeleton Robot for Finger Movement Rehabilitation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tzu-Heng Hsu; Yen-Cheng Chiang; Wei-Tun Chan; Shih-Jui Chen

    2017-01-01

    In this study, a finger exoskeleton robot has been designed and presented. The prototype device was designed to be worn on the dorsal side of the hand to assist in the movement and rehabilitation of the fingers...

  4. Exoskeleton Power and Torque Requirements Based on Human Biomechanics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Crowell, Harrison

    2002-01-01

    .... In providing design guidance, the authors had two goals. The first goal was to provide estimates of the angles, torques, and powers for the ankles, knees, and hips of an exoskeleton based on data collected from humans...

  5. A novel framework for virtual prototyping of rehabilitation exoskeletons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Priyanshu; Kuo, Pei-Hsin; Neptune, Richard R; Deshpande, Ashish D

    2013-06-01

    Human-worn rehabilitation exoskeletons have the potential to make therapeutic exercises increasingly accessible to disabled individuals while reducing the cost and labor involved in rehabilitation therapy. In this work, we propose a novel human-model-in-the-loop framework for virtual prototyping (design, control and experimentation) of rehabilitation exoskeletons by merging computational musculoskeletal analysis with simulation-based design techniques. The framework allows to iteratively optimize design and control algorithm of an exoskeleton using simulation. We introduce biomechanical, morphological, and controller measures to quantify the performance of the device for optimization study. Furthermore, the framework allows one to carry out virtual experiments for testing specific "what-if" scenarios to quantify device performance and recovery progress. To illustrate the application of the framework, we present a case study wherein the design and analysis of an index-finger exoskeleton is carried out using the proposed framework.

  6. A passively safe cable driven upper limb rehabilitation exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanyan; Fan, Jizhuang; Zhu, Yanhe; Zhao, Jie; Cai, Hegao

    2015-01-01

    When using upper limb exoskeletons that assist the movement of physically weak people, safety should be the most important index. In this paper, a passively safe, cable-driven upper limb exoskeleton with parallel actuated joints, which perfectly mimics human motions, is proposed. Compared with the existing upper limb exoskeletons which are mostly designed only considering the realization of functional properties, and having poor wearabity, a passively safe prototype for motion assistance based on human anatomy structure has been developed in our design. This design is based on the prior exoskeleton structure with the adoption of a gravity balanced device. The gravity balanced mechanism was confirmed in theory and simulation, showing it has a positive effect on balance.

  7. A survey of stakeholder perspectives on exoskeleton technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jamie; Parker, Claire; Borisoff, Jaimie; Mortenson, W Ben; Mattie, Johanne

    2014-12-19

    Exoskeleton technology has potential benefits for wheelchair users' health and mobility. However, there are practical barriers to their everyday use as a mobility device. To further understand potential exoskeleton use, and facilitate the development of new technologies, a study was undertaken to explore perspectives of wheelchair users and healthcare professionals on reasons for use of exoskeleton technology, and the importance of a variety of device characteristics. An online survey with quantitative and qualitative components was conducted with wheelchair users and healthcare professionals working directly with individuals with mobility impairments. Respondents rated whether they would use or recommend an exoskeleton for four potential reasons. Seventeen design features were rated and compared in terms of their importance. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to categorize the 17 design features into meaningful groupings. Content analysis was used to identify themes for the open ended questions regarding reasons for use of an exoskeleton. 481 survey responses were analyzed, 354 from wheelchair users and 127 from healthcare professionals. The most highly rated reason for potential use or recommendation of an exoskeleton was health benefits. Of the design features, 4 had a median rating of very important: minimization of falls risk, comfort, putting on/taking off the device, and purchase cost. Factor analysis identified two main categories of design features: Functional Activities and Technology Characteristics. Qualitative findings indicated that health and physical benefits, use for activity and access reasons, and psychosocial benefits were important considerations in whether to use or recommend an exoskeleton. This study emphasizes the importance of developing future exoskeletons that are comfortable, affordable, minimize fall risk, and enable functional activities. Findings from this study can be utilized to inform the priorities for future

  8. Skeletal and Clinical Effects of Exoskeleton-Assisted Gait

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    achieved. The result consists of 1) muscle lines of action and activation forces during the gait cycle , 2) joint contact forces at the ankle, knee, and...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0611 TITLE: Skeletal and Clinical Effects of Exoskeleton-Assisted Gait PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Paolo Bonato, PhD...AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Skeletal and Clinical Effects of Exoskeleton-Assisted Gait 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0611 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  9. Optical Enhancement of Exoskeleton-Based Estimation of Glenohumeral Angles

    OpenAIRE

    Cortés, Camilo; Unzueta, Luis; de los Reyes-Guzmán, Ana; Ruiz, Oscar E.; Flórez, Julián

    2016-01-01

    In Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR) the accurate estimation of the patient limb joint angles is critical for assessing therapy efficacy. In RAR, the use of classic motion capture systems (MOCAPs) (e.g., optical and electromagnetic) to estimate the Glenohumeral (GH) joint angles is hindered by the exoskeleton body, which causes occlusions and magnetic disturbances. Moreover, the exoskeleton posture does not accurately reflect limb posture, as their kinematic models differ. To address the sa...

  10. Locomotor adaptation to a soleus EMG-controlled antagonistic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Keith E; Kinnaird, Catherine R; Ferris, Daniel P

    2013-04-01

    Locomotor adaptation in humans is not well understood. To provide insight into the neural reorganization that occurs following a significant disruption to one's learned neuromuscular map relating a given motor command to its resulting muscular action, we tied the mechanical action of a robotic exoskeleton to the electromyography (EMG) profile of the soleus muscle during walking. The powered exoskeleton produced an ankle dorsiflexion torque proportional to soleus muscle recruitment thus limiting the soleus' plantar flexion torque capability. We hypothesized that neurologically intact subjects would alter muscle activation patterns in response to the antagonistic exoskeleton by decreasing soleus recruitment. Subjects practiced walking with the exoskeleton for two 30-min sessions. The initial response to the perturbation was to "fight" the resistive exoskeleton by increasing soleus activation. By the end of training, subjects had significantly reduced soleus recruitment resulting in a gait pattern with almost no ankle push-off. In addition, there was a trend for subjects to reduce gastrocnemius recruitment in proportion to the soleus even though only the soleus EMG was used to control the exoskeleton. The results from this study demonstrate the ability of the nervous system to recalibrate locomotor output in response to substantial changes in the mechanical output of the soleus muscle and associated sensory feedback. This study provides further evidence that the human locomotor system of intact individuals is highly flexible and able to adapt to achieve effective locomotion in response to a broad range of neuromuscular perturbations.

  11. Design and preliminary assessment of Vanderbilt hand exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasser, Benjamin W; Bennett, Daniel A; Durrough, Christina M; Goldfarb, Michael

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents the design of a hand exoskeleton intended to enable or facilitate bimanual activities of daily living (ADLs) for individuals with chronic upper extremity hemiparesis resulting from stroke. The paper describes design of the battery-powered, self-contained exoskeleton and presents the results of initial testing with a single subject with hemiparesis from stroke. Specifically, an experiment was conducted requiring the subject to repeatedly remove the lid from a water bottle both with and without the hand exoskeleton. The relative times required to remove the lid from the bottles was considerably lower when using the exoskeleton. Specifically, the average amount of time required to grasp the bottle with the paretic hand without the exoskeleton was 25.9 s, with a standard deviation of 33.5 s, while the corresponding average amount of time required to grasp the bottle with the exoskeleton was 5.1 s, with a standard deviation of 1.9 s. Thus, the task time involving the paretic hand was reduced by a factor of five, while the standard deviation was reduced by a factor of 16.

  12. Powered exoskeleton with palm degrees of freedom for hand rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Daniel S; Georgilas, Ioannis; Dagnino, Giulio; Dogramadzi, Sanja

    2015-08-01

    Robotic rehabilitation is a currently underutilised field with the potential to allow huge cost savings within healthcare. Existing rehabilitation exoskeletons oversimplify the importance of movement of the hand while undertaking everyday tasks. Within this study, an investigation was undertaken to establish the extent to which the degrees of freedom within the palm affect ability to undertake everyday tasks. Using a 5DT data glove, bend sensing resistors and restrictors of palm movement, 20 participants were recruited to complete tasks that required various hand shapes. Collected data was processed and palm arching trends were identified for each grasping task. It was found that the extent of utilizing arches in the palm varied with each exercise, but was extensively employed throughout. An exoskeleton was subsequently designed with consideration of the identified palm shapes. This design included a number of key features that accommodated for a variety of hand sizes, a novel thumb joint and a series of dorsally mounted servos. Initial exoskeleton testing was undertaken by having a participant complete the same exercises while wearing the exoskeleton. The angles formed by the user during this process were then compared to those recorded by 2 other participants who had completed the same tasks without exoskeleton. It was found that the exoskeleton was capable of forming the required arches for completing the tasks, with differences between participants attributed to individual ergonomic differences.

  13. Phase I Report: DARPA Exoskeleton Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansen, J.F.

    2004-01-21

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) inaugurated a program addressing research and development for an Exoskeleton for Human Performance Augmentation in FY!2001. A team consisting of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the prime contractor, AeroVironment, Inc., the Army Research Laboratory, the University of Minnesota, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute has recently completed an 18-month Phase I effort in support of this DARPA program. The Phase I effort focused on the development and proof-of-concept demonstrations for key enabling technologies, laying the foundation for subsequently building and demonstrating a prototype exoskeleton. The overall approach was driven by the need to optimize energy efficiency while providing a system that augmented the operator in as transparent manner as possible (non-impeding). These needs led to the evolution of two key distinguishing features of this team's approach. The first is the ''no knee contact'' concept. This concept is dependent on a unique Cartesian-based control scheme that uses force sensing at the foot and backpack attachments to allow the exoskeleton to closely follow the operator while avoiding the difficulty of connecting and sensing position at the knee. The second is an emphasis on energy efficiency manifested by an energetic, power, actuation and controls approach designed to enhance energy efficiency as well as a reconfigurable kinematic structure that provides a non-anthropomorphic configuration to support an energy saving long-range march/transport mode. The enabling technologies addressed in the first phase were controls and sensing, the soft tissue interface between the machine and the operator, the power system, and actuation. The controller approach was implemented and demonstrated on a test stand with an actual operator. Control stability, low operator fatigue, force amplification and the human interface were all successfully demonstrated, validating the controls

  14. Design and Implementation of NTU Wearable Exoskeleton as an Enhancement and Assistive Device

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. H. Low

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a wearable lower extremity exoskeleton (LEE developed to enhance the ability of a human’s walking while carrying heavy loads. The ultimate goal of the current research work is to design and control a power assist system that integrates a human’s intellect for feedback and sensory purposes. The exoskeleton system in this work consists of an inner exoskeleton and an outer exoskeleton. The inner exoskeleton measures the movements of the wearer and provides these measurements to the outer exoskeleton, which supports the whole exoskeleton system to walk following the wearer. A special footpad, which is designed and attached to the outer exoskeleton, can measure the zero moment point (ZMP of the human as well as that of the exoskeleton in time. Using the measured human ZMP as the reference, the exoskeleton’s ZMP is controlled by trunk compensation so that the exoskeleton can walk stably. A simulation platform has first been developed to examine the gait coordination through inner and outer exoskeletons. A commercially available software, xPC Target, together with other toolboxes from MATLAB, has then been used to provide a real-time operating system for controlling the exoskeleton. Real-time locomotion control of the exoskeleton is implemented in the developed environment. Finally, some experiments on different objects showed that the stable walking can be achieved in the real environment.

  15. Design and evaluation of a modular lower limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Wilian M; Nogueira, Samuel L; de Oliveira, Gustavo C; Pena, Guido G; Siqueira, Adriano A G

    2017-07-01

    This paper deals with the evaluation of an exoskeleton designed for assisting individuals to rehabilitate compromised lower limb movements resulting from stroke or incomplete spinal cord injury. The exoskeleton is composed of lightweight tubular structures and six free joints that provide a modular feature to the system. This feature allows the exoskeleton to be adapted to assist the movement of one or more patient joints. The actuation of the exoskeleton is also modular, and can be performed passively, by means of springs and dampers, or actively through actuators. In addition, its telescopic tubular links, developed to adjust the size of the links in order to align the joints of the exoskeleton with patient joints, allows the exoskeleton to be adjustable to fit different patients. Experiments considering the interaction between a healthy subject and the exoskeleton are performed to evaluate the influence of the exoskeleton structure on kinematic and muscular activity profiles during walking.

  16. Design and Optimization of a Spring-loaded Cable-driven Robotic Exoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Lelai; Bai, Shaoping; Andersen, Michael Skipper

    2012-01-01

    An approach of designing a robotic exoskeleton for a partially paralyzed human upper extremity is proposed in this paper. A musculoskeletal arm model is built to simulate the injury symptom in terms of evaluating the muscle activations. The exoskeleton is built with a gravity compensation system....... The biomechanical human arm model and the exoskeleton are integrated together to form a bio-robotic system. Design analysis and optimization are conducted in the bio-robotic system to evaluate parameters of the exoskeleton....

  17. EMG patterns during assisted walking in the exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylos-Labini, Francesca; La Scaleia, Valentina; d'Avella, Andrea; Pisotta, Iolanda; Tamburella, Federica; Scivoletto, Giorgio; Molinari, Marco; Wang, Shiqian; Wang, Letian; van Asseldonk, Edwin; van der Kooij, Herman; Hoellinger, Thomas; Cheron, Guy; Thorsteinsson, Freygardur; Ilzkovitz, Michel; Gancet, Jeremi; Hauffe, Ralf; Zanov, Frank; Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthetic technology and robotic exoskeletons are being developed to facilitate stepping, reduce muscle efforts, and promote motor recovery. Nevertheless, the guidance forces of an exoskeleton may influence the sensory inputs, sensorimotor interactions and resulting muscle activity patterns during stepping. The aim of this study was to report the muscle activation patterns in a sample of intact and injured subjects while walking with a robotic exoskeleton and, in particular, to quantify the level of muscle activity during assisted gait. We recorded electromyographic (EMG) activity of different leg and arm muscles during overground walking in an exoskeleton in six healthy individuals and four spinal cord injury (SCI) participants. In SCI patients, EMG activity of the upper limb muscles was augmented while activation of leg muscles was typically small. Contrary to our expectations, however, in neurologically intact subjects, EMG activity of leg muscles was similar or even larger during exoskeleton-assisted walking compared to normal overground walking. In addition, significant variations in the EMG waveforms were found across different walking conditions. The most variable pattern was observed in the hamstring muscles. Overall, the results are consistent with a non-linear reorganization of the locomotor output when using the robotic stepping devices. The findings may contribute to our understanding of human-machine interactions and adaptation of locomotor activity patterns.

  18. Optical Enhancement of Exoskeleton-Based Estimation of Glenohumeral Angles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, Camilo; Unzueta, Luis; de Los Reyes-Guzmán, Ana; Ruiz, Oscar E; Flórez, Julián

    2016-01-01

    In Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR) the accurate estimation of the patient limb joint angles is critical for assessing therapy efficacy. In RAR, the use of classic motion capture systems (MOCAPs) (e.g., optical and electromagnetic) to estimate the Glenohumeral (GH) joint angles is hindered by the exoskeleton body, which causes occlusions and magnetic disturbances. Moreover, the exoskeleton posture does not accurately reflect limb posture, as their kinematic models differ. To address the said limitations in posture estimation, we propose installing the cameras of an optical marker-based MOCAP in the rehabilitation exoskeleton. Then, the GH joint angles are estimated by combining the estimated marker poses and exoskeleton Forward Kinematics. Such hybrid system prevents problems related to marker occlusions, reduced camera detection volume, and imprecise joint angle estimation due to the kinematic mismatch of the patient and exoskeleton models. This paper presents the formulation, simulation, and accuracy quantification of the proposed method with simulated human movements. In addition, a sensitivity analysis of the method accuracy to marker position estimation errors, due to system calibration errors and marker drifts, has been carried out. The results show that, even with significant errors in the marker position estimation, method accuracy is adequate for RAR.

  19. Optical Enhancement of Exoskeleton-Based Estimation of Glenohumeral Angles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Cortés

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR the accurate estimation of the patient limb joint angles is critical for assessing therapy efficacy. In RAR, the use of classic motion capture systems (MOCAPs (e.g., optical and electromagnetic to estimate the Glenohumeral (GH joint angles is hindered by the exoskeleton body, which causes occlusions and magnetic disturbances. Moreover, the exoskeleton posture does not accurately reflect limb posture, as their kinematic models differ. To address the said limitations in posture estimation, we propose installing the cameras of an optical marker-based MOCAP in the rehabilitation exoskeleton. Then, the GH joint angles are estimated by combining the estimated marker poses and exoskeleton Forward Kinematics. Such hybrid system prevents problems related to marker occlusions, reduced camera detection volume, and imprecise joint angle estimation due to the kinematic mismatch of the patient and exoskeleton models. This paper presents the formulation, simulation, and accuracy quantification of the proposed method with simulated human movements. In addition, a sensitivity analysis of the method accuracy to marker position estimation errors, due to system calibration errors and marker drifts, has been carried out. The results show that, even with significant errors in the marker position estimation, method accuracy is adequate for RAR.

  20. Design of a Passive Exoskeleton for the Upper Extremity through Co-simulation with a Biomechanical Human Arm Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, Lelai; Bai, Shaoping; Rasmussen, John

    2013-01-01

    An approach of designing exoskeletons on the basis of simulation of the exoskeleton and a human body model is proposed in this paper. The new approach, addressing the problem of physical human-exoskeleton interactions, models and simulates the mechanics for both the exoskeleton and the human body...

  1. Modeling and Design of a Spring-loaded, Cable-driven, Wearable Exoskeleton for the Upper Extremity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lelai Zhou

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available An approach to the design of wearable exoskeletons on the basis of simulation of the exoskeleton and a human body model is proposed in this paper. The new approach, addressing the problem of physical human-exoskeleton interactions, models and simulates the mechanics of both the exoskeleton and the human body, which allows designers to effectively analyze and evaluate an exoskeleton design for their function in concert with the human body. A simulation platform is developed by integrating a biomechanical model of the human body and the exoskeleton. With the proposed approach, an exoskeleton is designed for assisting patients with neuromuscular injuries. Results of the analysis and optimization are included.

  2. Structural Design of a 6-DoF Hip Exoskeleton using Linear Series Elastic Actuators

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Xiao

    2017-01-01

    A novel hip exoskeleton with six degrees of freedom (DoF) was developed, and multiple prototypes of this product were created in this thesis. The device was an upper level of the 12-DoF lower-body exoskeleton project, which was known as the Orthotic Lower-body Locomotion Exoskeleton (OLL-E). The hip exoskeleton had three motions per leg, which were roll, yaw, and pitch. Currently, the sufferers of hemiplegia and paraplegia can be addressed by using a wheelchair or operating an exoskeleton wi...

  3. Design and control of hybrid actuation lower limb exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hipolito Aguilar-Sierra

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this article, two types of actuators are applied for a lower limb exoskeleton. They are DC motors with the harmonic drive and the pneumatic artificial muscles. This combination takes advantages of both the harmonic drive and the pneumatic artificial muscle. It provides both high accuracy position control and high ratio of strength and weight. The shortcomings of the two actuators are overcome by the hybrid actuation, for example, low control accuracy and modeling difficult of pneumatic artificial muscle, compactness, and structural flexibility of DC motors. The design and modeling processes are discussed to show the proposed exoskeleton can increase the strength of human lower limbs. Experiments and analysis of the exoskeleton are given to evaluate the effectiveness of the design and modeling.

  4. Innovative hand exoskeleton design for extravehicular activities in space

    CERN Document Server

    Freni, Pierluigi; Randazzo, Luca; Ariano, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Environmental conditions and pressurized spacesuits expose astronauts to problems of fatigue during lengthy extravehicular activities, with adverse impacts especially on the dexterity, force and endurance of the hands and arms. A state-of-the-art exploration in the field of hand exoskeletons revealed that available products are unsuitable for space applications because of their bulkiness and mass. This book proposes a novel approach to the development of hand exoskeletons, based on an innovative soft robotics concept that relies on the exploitation of electroactive polymers operating as sensors and actuators, on a combination of electromyography and mechanomyography for detection of the user’s will and on neural networks for control. The result is a design that should enhance astronauts’ performance during extravehicular activities. In summary, the advantages of the described approach are a low-weight, high-flexibility exoskeleton that allows for dexterity and compliance with the user’s will.

  5. A Finger Exoskeleton Robot for Finger Movement Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzu-Heng Hsu

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study, a finger exoskeleton robot has been designed and presented. The prototype device was designed to be worn on the dorsal side of the hand to assist in the movement and rehabilitation of the fingers. The finger exoskeleton is 3D-printed to be low-cost and has a transmission mechanism consisting of rigid serial links which is actuated by a stepper motor. The actuation of the robotic finger is by a sliding motion and mimics the movement of the human finger. To make it possible for the patient to use the rehabilitation device anywhere and anytime, an Arduino™ control board and a speech recognition board were used to allow voice control. As the robotic finger follows the patients voice commands the actual motion is analyzed by Tracker image analysis software. The finger exoskeleton is designed to flex and extend the fingers, and has a rotation range of motion (ROM of 44.2°.

  6. Series elastic actuation of an elbow rehabilitation exoskeleton with axis misalignment adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kuan-Yi; Su, Yin-Yu; Yu, Ying-Lung; Lin, Kuei-You; Lan, Chao-Chieh

    2017-07-01

    Powered exoskeletons can facilitate rehabilitation of patients with upper limb disabilities. Designs using rotary motors usually result in bulky exoskeletons to reduce the problem of moving inertia. This paper presents a new linearly actuated elbow exoskeleton that consists of a slider crank mechanism and a linear motor. The linear motor is placed beside the upper arm and closer to shoulder joint. Thus better inertia properties can be achieved while lightweight and compactness are maintained. A passive joint is introduced to compensate for the exoskeleton-elbow misalignment and intersubject size variation. A linear series elastic actuator (SEA) is proposed to obtain accurate force and impedance control at the exoskeleton-elbow interface. Bidirectional actuation between exoskeleton and forearm is verified, which is required for various rehabilitation processes. We expect this exoskeleton can provide a means of robot-aided elbow rehabilitation.

  7. Exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation of children: Conceptual design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornejo, Jorge L; Santana, Jesus F; Salinas, Sergio A

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design of an exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation of children. This system has electronics, mechanicals and software sections, which are implemented and tested using a mannequin of a child. The prototype uses servomotors to move robotic joints that are attached to simulated patient's legs. The design has 4 DOF (degrees of freedom) two for hip joints and other two for knee joints, in the sagittal plane. A microcontroller measures sensor signals, controls motors and exchanges data with a computer. The user interacts with a graphical interface to configure, control and monitor the exoskeleton activities. The laboratory tests show soften movements in joint angle tracking.

  8. Kinematic analysis of the finger exoskeleton using MATLAB/Simulink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiłowski, Krzysztof; Awrejcewicz, Jan; Lewandowski, Donat

    2014-01-01

    A paralyzed and not fully functional part of human body can be supported by the properly designed exoskeleton system with motoric abilities. It can help in rehabilitation, or movement of a disabled/paralyzed limb. Both suitably selected geometry and specialized software are studied applying the MATLAB environment. A finger exoskeleton was the base for MATLAB/Simulink model. Specialized software, such as MATLAB/Simulink give us an opportunity to optimize calculation reaching precise results, which help in next steps of design process. The calculations carried out yield information regarding movement relation between three functionally connected actuators and showed distance and velocity changes during the whole simulation time.

  9. A Finger Exoskeleton Robot for Finger Movement Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Tzu-Heng Hsu; Yen-Cheng Chiang; Wei-Tun Chan; Shih-Jui Chen

    2017-01-01

    In this study, a finger exoskeleton robot has been designed and presented. The prototype device was designed to be worn on the dorsal side of the hand to assist in the movement and rehabilitation of the fingers. The finger exoskeleton is 3D-printed to be low-cost and has a transmission mechanism consisting of rigid serial links which is actuated by a stepper motor. The actuation of the robotic finger is by a sliding motion and mimics the movement of the human finger. To make it possible for t...

  10. Real-Time Strap Pressure Sensor System for Powered Exoskeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Tamez-Duque

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Assistive and rehabilitative powered exoskeletons for spinal cord injury (SCI and stroke subjects have recently reached the clinic. Proper tension and joint alignment are critical to ensuring safety. Challenges still exist in adjustment and fitting, with most current systems depending on personnel experience for appropriate individual fastening. Paraplegia and tetraplegia patients using these devices have impaired sensation and cannot signal if straps are uncomfortable or painful. Excessive pressure and blood-flow restriction can lead to skin ulcers, necrotic tissue and infections. Tension must be just enough to prevent slipping and maintain posture. Research in pressure dynamics is extensive for wheelchairs and mattresses, but little research has been done on exoskeleton straps. We present a system to monitor pressure exerted by physical human-machine interfaces and provide data about levels of skin/body pressure in fastening straps. The system consists of sensing arrays, signal processing hardware with wireless transmission, and an interactive GUI. For validation, a lower-body powered exoskeleton carrying the full weight of users was used. Experimental trials were conducted with one SCI and one able-bodied subject. The system can help prevent skin injuries related to excessive pressure in mobility-impaired patients using powered exoskeletons, supporting functionality, independence and better overall quality of life.

  11. Design and control of a hand exoskeleton for use in extravehicular activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, B.; Peterson, S.; Strauss, A.; Main, J.

    1993-01-01

    To counter problems inherent in extravehicular activities (EVA) and complex space operations, an exoskeleton, a unique adaptive structure, has been designed. The exoskeleton fits on the hand and powers the proximal and middle phalanges of the index finger, the middle finger, and the combined ring and little finger. A kinematic analysis of the exoskeleton joints was performed using the loop-closure method. This analysis determined the angular displacement and velocity relationships of the exoskeleton joints. This information was used to determine the output power of the exoskeleton. Three small DC motors (one for each finger) are used to power the exoskeleton. The motors are mounted on the forearm. Power is transferred to the exoskeleton using lead screws. The control system for the exoskeleton measures the contact force between the operator and the exoskeleton. This information is used as the input to drive the actuation system. The control system allows the motor to rotate in both directions so that the operator may close or open the exoskeleton.

  12. Proceeding of human exoskeleton technology and discussions on future research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhiqiang; Xie, Hanxing; Li, Weilin; Yao, Zheng

    2014-05-01

    After more than half a century of intense efforts, the development of exoskeleton has seen major advances, and several remarkable achievements have been made. Reviews of developing history of exoskeleton are presented, both in active and passive categories. Major models are introduced, and typical technologies are commented on. Difficulties in control algorithm, driver system, power source, and man-machine interface are discussed. Current researching routes and major developing methods are mapped and critically analyzed, and in the process, some key problems are revealed. First, the exoskeleton is totally different from biped robot, and relative studies based on the robot technologies are considerably incorrect. Second, biomechanical studies are only used to track the motion of the human body, the interaction between human and machines are seldom studied. Third, the traditional developing ways which focused on servo-controlling have inborn deficiency from making portable systems. Research attention should be shifted to the human side of the coupling system, and the human ability to learn and adapt should play a more significant role in the control algorithms. Having summarized the major difficulties, possible future works are discussed. It is argued that, since a distinct boundary cannot be drawn in such strong-coupling human-exoskeleton system, the more complex the control system gets, the more difficult it is for the user to learn to use. It is suggested that the exoskeleton should be treated as a simple wearable tool, and downgrading its automatic level may be a change toward a brighter research outlook. This effort at simplification is definitely not easy, as it necessitates theoretical supports from fields such as biomechanics, ergonomics, and bionics.

  13. WheelWalker: a foot-wheel driving exoskeleton for the alternate walk of paraplegic patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Qingchuan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Upright walk is the fundamental need of paraplegic patients. In this study, we proposed a novel lower-limb exoskeleton for assisting the patients to walk alternately and further improve their engagement in the rehabilitation training. The exoskeleton was driven by a hub motor which was mounted under the foot, and a pair of custom-made crutch with wireless controller was used to control the walking condition of exoskeleton and maintain balance. This paper mainly introduced the general designing concept and detailed specifications of each modules of the exoskeleton. A pilot using experiment was performed on two healthy subjects to qualitatively analyse the capability of this exoskeleton when adopting different gaits. The results showed that the subjects with different body characteristics could complete continued walk by wearing this exoskeleton either in a three-point gait mode or four-point gait mode.

  14. JackEx: The new digital manufacturing resource for optimization of Exoskeleton-based factory environments

    OpenAIRE

    Constantinescu, Carmen; Muresan, Paul-Cristian; Simon, Gabriel-Marian

    2016-01-01

    The employment of Exoskeletons for manual handling work in manufacturing industries aims at increased employment, productivity, safety and security at workplace. This paper highlights several challenges, current results and future steps of our work in optimization of Exoskeleton based factory environments. “JackEx” is the enhancement of the standard digital humanoid “Jack” with concepts and elements of passive Exoskeletons. For the development of JackEx, a new digital manufacturing resource, ...

  15. Design and Control of a Powered Hip Exoskeleton for Walking Assistance

    OpenAIRE

    Qingcong Wu; Xingsong Wang; Fengpo Du; Xiaobo Zhang

    2015-01-01

    The wearable powered exoskeleton is a human-robot cooperation system that integrates the strength of a robot with human intelligence. This paper presents the research results into a powered hip exoskeleton (PH-EXOS) designed to provide locomotive assistance to individuals with walking impediments. The Bowden cable actuated exoskeleton has an anthropomorphic structure with six degrees of freedom (DOF) in order to match the human hip anatomy and enable natural interaction with the user. The mec...

  16. Preliminary Evaluation of Intelligent Intention Estimation Algorithms for an Actuated Lower-Limb Exoskeleton

    OpenAIRE

    Mervin Chandrapal; XiaoQi Chen; Wenhui Wang; Benjamin Stanke; Nicolas Le Pape

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the experimental testing of an actuated lower-limb exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is designed to alleviate the loading at the knee joint by supplying assistive torque. It is hypothesized that the support provided will reduce the muscular effort required to perform activities of daily living and thus facilitate the execution of these movements by those who previously had limited mobility. The exoskeleton is actuated by four pneumatic artificial muscles, each providing 150N o...

  17. Exoskeletons of Bougainvilliidae and other Hydroidolina (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa): structure and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marian, José Eduardo A.R.; Migotto, Alvaro Esteves; Marques, Antonio Carlos

    2017-01-01

    The exoskeleton is an important source of characters for the taxonomy of Hydroidolina. It originates as epidermal secretions and, among other functions, protects the coenosarc of the polypoid stage. However, comparative studies on the exoskeletal tissue origin, development, chemical, and structural characteristics, as well as its evolution and homology, are few and fragmented. This study compares the structure and composition of the exoskeleton and underlying coenosarc in members of “Anthoathecata” and some Leptothecata, but does so mainly in bougainvilliid polyps histological analyses. We also studied the development of the exoskeleton under experimental conditions. We identified three types of glandular epidermal cells related to the origin of the exoskeleton and the secretion of its polysaccharides component. The exoskeleton of the species studied is either bilayered (perisarc and exosarc, especially in bougainvilliids) or corneous (perisarc). The exoskeleton varies in chemical composition, structural rigidity, thickness, extension, and coverage in the different regions of the colony. In bilayered exoskeletons, the exosarc is produced first and appears to be a key step in the formation of the rigid exoskeleton. The exoskeleton contains anchoring structures such as desmocytes and “perisarc extensions.” PMID:28224050

  18. Biomechanical modeling and load-carrying simulation of lower limb exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yanhe; Zhang, Guoan; Zhang, Chao; Liu, Gangfeng; Zhao, Jie

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces novel modern equipment-a lower extremity exoskeleton, which can implement the mutual complement and the interaction between human intelligence and the robot's mechanical strength. In order to provide a reference for the exoskeleton structure and the drive unit, the human biomechanics were modeled and analyzed by LifeModeler and Adams software to derive each joint kinematic parameter. The control was designed to implement the zero-force interaction between human and exoskeleton. Furthermore, simulations were performed to verify the control and assist effect. In conclusion, the system scheme of lower extremity exoskeleton is demonstrated to be feasible.

  19. Cooperative Control for A Hybrid Rehabilitation System Combining Functional Electrical Stimulation and Robotic Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dingguo; Ren, Yong; Gui, Kai; Jia, Jie; Xu, Wendong

    2017-01-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES) and robotic exoskeletons are two important technologies widely used for physical rehabilitation of paraplegic patients. We developed a hybrid rehabilitation system (FEXO Knee) that combined FES and an exoskeleton for swinging movement control of human knee joints. This study proposed a novel cooperative control strategy, which could realize arbitrary distribution of torque generated by FES and exoskeleton, and guarantee harmonic movements. The cooperative control adopted feedfoward control for FES and feedback control for exoskeleton. A parameter regulator was designed to update key parameters in real time to coordinate FES controller and exoskeleton controller. Two muscle groups (quadriceps and hamstrings) were stimulated to generate active torque for knee joint in synchronization with torque compensation from exoskeleton. The knee joint angle and the interactive torque between exoskeleton and shank were used as feedback signals for the control system. Central pattern generator (CPG) was adopted that acted as a phase predictor to deal with phase confliction of motor patterns, and realized synchronization between the two different bodies (shank and exoskeleton). Experimental evaluation of the hybrid FES-exoskeleton system was conducted on five healthy subjects and four paraplegic patients. Experimental results and statistical analysis showed good control performance of the cooperative control on torque distribution, trajectory tracking, and phase synchronization.

  20. Cooperative Control for A Hybrid Rehabilitation System Combining Functional Electrical Stimulation and Robotic Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dingguo Zhang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Functional electrical stimulation (FES and robotic exoskeletons are two important technologies widely used for physical rehabilitation of paraplegic patients. We developed a hybrid rehabilitation system (FEXO Knee that combined FES and an exoskeleton for swinging movement control of human knee joints. This study proposed a novel cooperative control strategy, which could realize arbitrary distribution of torque generated by FES and exoskeleton, and guarantee harmonic movements. The cooperative control adopted feedfoward control for FES and feedback control for exoskeleton. A parameter regulator was designed to update key parameters in real time to coordinate FES controller and exoskeleton controller. Two muscle groups (quadriceps and hamstrings were stimulated to generate active torque for knee joint in synchronization with torque compensation from exoskeleton. The knee joint angle and the interactive torque between exoskeleton and shank were used as feedback signals for the control system. Central pattern generator (CPG was adopted that acted as a phase predictor to deal with phase confliction of motor patterns, and realized synchronization between the two different bodies (shank and exoskeleton. Experimental evaluation of the hybrid FES-exoskeleton system was conducted on five healthy subjects and four paraplegic patients. Experimental results and statistical analysis showed good control performance of the cooperative control on torque distribution, trajectory tracking, and phase synchronization.

  1. A planar 3DOF robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Stephen J; Brown, Ian E; Scott, Stephen H

    2007-01-01

    A new robotic exoskeleton for the upper-limb has been designed and constructed. Its primary purpose is to act as a proof-of-concept prototype for a more sophisticated rehabilitation and assessment device that is currently in development. Simultaneously, it is intended to extend the capabilities of an existing planar exoskeleton device. The robot operates in the horizontal plane and provides independent control of a user's shoulder, elbow and wrist joints using a cable-driven actuation system. The novel component of the design is a curved track and carriage which allows the mechanism that drives the shoulder joint to be located away from the user, underneath their arm. This paper describes the design of the robot, and provides an initial indication of its performance.

  2. A hybrid joint based controller for an upper extremity exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohd Khairuddin, Ismail; Taha, Zahari; Majeed, Anwar P. P. Abdul; Hakeem Deboucha, Abdel; Azraai Mohd Razman, Mohd; Aziz Jaafar, Abdul; Mohamed, Zulkifli

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents the modelling and control of a two degree of freedom upper extremity exoskeleton. The Euler-Lagrange formulation was used in deriving the dynamic modelling of both the human upper limb as well as the exoskeleton that consists of the upper arm and the forearm. The human model is based on anthropometrical measurements of the upper limb. The proportional-derivative (PD) computed torque control (CTC) architecture is employed in this study to investigate its efficacy performing joint-space control objectives specifically in rehabilitating the elbow and shoulder joints along the sagittal plane. An active force control (AFC) algorithm is also incorporated into the PD-CTC to investigate the effectiveness of this hybrid system in compensating disturbances. It was found that the AFC- PD-CTC performs well against the disturbances introduced into the system whilst achieving acceptable trajectory tracking as compared to the conventional PD-CTC control architecture.

  3. Modelling and control of an upper extremity exoskeleton for rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Zahari; Majeed, Anwar P. P. Abdul; Tze, Mohd Yashim Wong Paul; Abdo Hashem, Mohammed; Mohd Khairuddin, Ismail; Azraai Mohd Razman, Mohd

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents the modelling and control of a two degree of freedom upper extremity exoskeleton for rehabilitation. The Lagrangian formulation was employed to obtain the dynamic modelling of both the anthropometric based human upper limb as well as the exoskeleton that comprises of the upper arm and the forearm. A proportional-derivative (PD) architecture is employed to investigate its efficacy performing a joint task trajectory tracking in performing flexion/extension on the elbow joint as well as the forward adduction/abduction on the shoulder joint. An active force control (AFC) algorithm is also incorporated into the aforementioned controller to examine its effectiveness in compensating disturbances. It was found from the study that the AFC-PD performed well against the disturbances introduced into the system without compromising its tracking performances as compared to the conventional PD control architecture.

  4. A mechanism for elbow exoskeleton for customised training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Soumya K; Dubey, Venketesh N

    2017-07-01

    It is well proven that repetitive extensive training consisting of active and passive therapy is effective for patients suffering from neuromuscular deficits. The level of difficulty in rehabilitation should be increased with time to improve the neurological muscle functions. A portable elbow exoskeleton has been designed that will meet these requirements and potentially offers superior outcomes than human-assisted training. The proposed exoskeleton can provide both active and passive rehabilitation in a single structure without changing its configuration. The idea is to offer three levels of rehabilitation; namely active, passive and stiffness control in a single device using a single actuator. The mechanism also provides higher torque to weight ratio making it an energy efficient mechanism.

  5. Kinematic Analysis of Exoskeleton Suit for Human Arm

    OpenAIRE

    Surachai Panich

    2010-01-01

    Problem statement: There are many robotic arms developed for providing care to physically disabled people. It is difficult to find robot designs in literature that articulate such a procedure. Therefore, it is our hope that the design work shown in this study may serve as a good example of a systematic method for rehabilitation robot design. Approach: The arm exoskeleton suit was developed to increase human's strength, endurance, or speed enabling them to perform tasks that they previously co...

  6. Human movement training with a cable driven ARm EXoskeleton (CAREX).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Ying; Jin, Xin; Gera Dutta, Geetanjali; Scholz, John P; Agrawal, Sunil K

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the authors have proposed lightweight exoskeleton designs for upper arm rehabilitation using multi-stage cable-driven parallel mechanism. Previously, the authors have demonstrated via experiments that it is possible to apply "assist-as-needed" forces in all directions at the end-effector with such an exoskeleton acting on an anthropomorphic machine arm. A human-exoskeleton interface was also presented to show the feasibility of CAREX on human subjects. The goals of this paper are to 1) further address issues when CAREX is mounted on human subjects, e.g., generation of continuous cable tension trajectories 2) demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of CAREX on movement training of healthy human subjects and a stroke patient. In this research, CAREX is rigidly attached to an arm orthosis worn by human subjects. The cable routing points are optimized to achieve a relatively large "tensioned" static workspace. A new cable tension planner based on quadratic programming is used to generate continuous cable tension trajectory for smooth motion. Experiments were carried out on eight healthy subjects. The experimental results show that CAREX can help the subjects move closer to a prescribed circular path using the force fields generated by the exoskeleton. The subjects also adapt to the path shortly after training. CAREX was also evaluated on a stroke patient to test the feasibility of its use on patients with neural impairment. The results show that the patient was able to move closer to a prescribed straight line path with the "assist-as-needed" force field.

  7. Mobility Outcomes Following Five Training Sessions with a Powered Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartigan, Clare; Kandilakis, Casey; Dalley, Skyler; Clausen, Mike; Wilson, Edgar; Morrison, Scott; Etheridge, Steven; Farris, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Loss of legged mobility due to spinal cord injury (SCI) is associated with multiple physiological and psychological impacts. Powered exoskeletons offer the possibility of regained mobility and reversal or prevention of the secondary effects associated with immobility. This study was conducted to evaluate mobility outcomes for individuals with SCI after 5 gait-training sessions with a powered exoskeleton, with a primary goal of characterizing the ease of learning and usability of the system. Sixteen subjects with SCI were enrolled in a pilot clinical trial at Shepherd Center, Atlanta, Georgia, with injury levels ranging from C5 complete to L1 incomplete. An investigational Indego exoskeleton research kit was evaluated for ease of use and efficacy in providing legged mobility. Outcome measures of the study included the 10-meter walk test (10 MWT) and the 6-minute walk test (6 MWT) as well as measures of independence including donning and doffing times and the ability to walk on various surfaces. At the end of 5 sessions (1.5 hours per session), average walking speed was 0.22 m/s for persons with C5-6 motor complete tetraplegia, 0.26 m/s for T1-8 motor complete paraplegia, and 0.45 m/s for T9-L1 paraplegia. Distances covered in 6 minutes averaged 64 meters for those with C5-6, 74 meters for T1-8, and 121 meters for T9-L1. Additionally, all participants were able to walk on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Results after only 5 sessions suggest that persons with tetraplegia and paraplegia learn to use the Indego exoskeleton quickly and can manage a variety of surfaces. Walking speeds and distances achieved also indicate that some individuals with paraplegia can quickly become limited community ambulators using this system.

  8. Exoskeleton master controller with force-reflecting telepresence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, James B.; Bartholet, Stephen J.; Nelson, David K.

    1992-01-01

    A thorough understanding of the requirements for successful master-slave robotic systems is becoming increasingly desirable. Such systems can aid in the accomplishment of tasks that are hazardous or inaccessible to humans. Although a history of use has proven master-slave systems to be viable, system requirements and the impact of specifications on the human factors side of system performance are not well known. In support of the next phase of teleoperation research being conducted at the Armstrong Research Laboratory, a force-reflecting, seven degree of freedom exoskeleton for master-slave teleoperation has been concepted, and is presently being developed. The exoskeleton has a unique kinematic structure that complements the structure of the human arm. It provides a natural means for teleoperating a dexterous, possibly redundant manipulator. It allows ease of use without operator fatigue and faithfully follows human arm and wrist motions. Reflected forces and moments are remotely transmitted to the operator hand grip using a cable transmission scheme. This paper presents the exoskeleton concept and development results to date. Conceptual design, hardware, algorithms, computer architecture, and software are covered.

  9. An EMG-Controlled Robotic Hand Exoskeleton for Bilateral Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardis, Daniele; Barsotti, Michele; Loconsole, Claudio; Solazzi, Massimiliano; Troncossi, Marco; Mazzotti, Claudio; Castelli, Vincenzo Parenti; Procopio, Caterina; Lamola, Giuseppe; Chisari, Carmelo; Bergamasco, Massimo; Frisoli, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a novel electromyography (EMG)-driven hand exoskeleton for bilateral rehabilitation of grasping in stroke. The developed hand exoskeleton was designed with two distinctive features: (a) kinematics with intrinsic adaptability to patient's hand size, and (b) free-palm and free-fingertip design, preserving the residual sensory perceptual capability of touch during assistance in grasping of real objects. In the envisaged bilateral training strategy, the patient's non paretic hand acted as guidance for the paretic hand in grasping tasks. Grasping force exerted by the non paretic hand was estimated in real-time from EMG signals, and then replicated as robotic assistance for the paretic hand by means of the hand-exoskeleton. Estimation of the grasping force through EMG allowed to perform rehabilitation exercises with any, non sensorized, graspable objects. This paper presents the system design, development, and experimental evaluation. Experiments were performed within a group of six healthy subjects and two chronic stroke patients, executing robotic-assisted grasping tasks. Results related to performance in estimation and modulation of the robotic assistance, and to the outcomes of the pilot rehabilitation sessions with stroke patients, positively support validity of the proposed approach for application in stroke rehabilitation.

  10. A stimulation-driven exoskeleton for walking after paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Sarah R; Nandor, Mark J; Lu Li; Foglyano, Kevin M; Schnellenberger, John R; Kobetic, Rudi; Quinn, Roger D; Triolo, Ronald J

    2016-08-01

    An untethered version of a stimulation-driven exoskeleton was evaluated for its ability to restore walking after paralysis from spinal cord injury. The hybrid neuroprosthesis (HNP) combined a passive variable-constraint exoskeleton for stability and support with functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) to contract the paralyzed muscles to drive limb movement. This self-contained HNP was operated by an onboard controller that sampled sensor signals, generated appropriate commands to both the exoskeletal constraints and integrated stimulator, and transmitted data wirelessly via Bluetooth to an off-board computer for real-time monitoring and recording for offline analysis. The subject selected the desired function (i.e. standing up, stepping, or sitting down) by means of a wireless finger switch that communicated with the onboard controller. Within the stepping function, a gait event detector supervisory controller transitioned between the different phases of gait such as double stance, swing, and weight acceptance based on signals from sensors incorporated into the exoskeleton. The different states of the control system governed the locking and unlocking of the exoskeletal hip and knee joints as well as the stimulation patterns activating hip and knee flexor or extensor muscles at the appropriate times and intensities to enable stepping. This study was one of our first successful implementations of the self-contained "muscle-first" HNP and successfully restored gait to an individual with motor complete mid-thoracic paraplegia.

  11. A neuromechanics-based powered ankle exoskeleton to assist walking post-stroke: a feasibility study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Kota Z; Lewek, Michael D; Sawicki, Gregory S

    2015-02-25

    In persons post-stroke, diminished ankle joint function can contribute to inadequate gait propulsion. To target paretic ankle impairments, we developed a neuromechanics-based powered ankle exoskeleton. Specifically, this exoskeleton supplies plantarflexion assistance that is proportional to the user's paretic soleus electromyography (EMG) amplitude only during a phase of gait when the stance limb is subjected to an anteriorly directed ground reaction force (GRF). The purpose of this feasibility study was to examine the short-term effects of the powered ankle exoskeleton on the mechanics and energetics of gait. Five subjects with stroke walked with a powered ankle exoskeleton on the paretic limb for three 5 minute sessions. We analyzed the peak paretic ankle plantarflexion moment, paretic ankle positive work, symmetry of GRF propulsion impulse, and net metabolic power. The exoskeleton increased the paretic plantarflexion moment by 16% during the powered walking trials relative to unassisted walking condition (p exoskeleton assistance appeared to reduce the net metabolic power gradually with each 5 minute repetition, though no statistical significance was found. In three of the subjects, the paretic soleus activation during the propulsion phase of stance was reduced during the powered assistance compared to unassisted walking (35% reduction in the integrated EMG amplitude during the third powered session). This feasibility study demonstrated that the exoskeleton can enhance paretic ankle moment. Future studies with greater sample size and prolonged sessions are warranted to evaluate the effects of the powered ankle exoskeleton on overall gait outcomes in persons post-stroke.

  12. On the energetics of the walking gait of a human operator using a passive exoskeleton apparatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavrovskii, E. K.

    2015-01-01

    We study the energy expenditures and the peak values of control torques which a human operator must apply in the process of exoskeleton displacement for various types of regular, plane, and single-support gaits. The obtained results allow us to estimate the performance of the passive exoskeleton apparatus.

  13. Tracking control of time-varying knee exoskeleton disturbed by interaction torque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhan; Ma, Wenhao; Yin, Ziguang; Guo, Hongliang

    2017-11-01

    Knee exoskeletons have been increasingly applied as assistive devices to help lower-extremity impaired people to make their knee joints move through providing external movement compensation. Tracking control of knee exoskeletons guided by human intentions often encounters time-varying (time-dependent) issues and the disturbance interaction torque, which may dramatically put an influence up on their dynamic behaviors. Inertial and viscous parameters of knee exoskeletons can be estimated to be time-varying due to unexpected mechanical vibrations and contact interactions. Moreover, the interaction torque produced from knee joint of wearers has an evident disturbance effect on regular motions of knee exoskeleton. All of these points can increase difficultly of accurate control of knee exoskeletons to follow desired joint angle trajectories. This paper proposes a novel control strategy for controlling knee exoskeleton with time-varying inertial and viscous coefficients disturbed by interaction torque. Such designed controller is able to make the tracking error of joint angle of knee exoskeletons exponentially converge to zero. Meanwhile, the proposed approach is robust to guarantee the tracking error bounded when the interaction torque exists. Illustrative simulation and experiment results are presented to show efficiency of the proposed controller. Additionally, comparisons with gradient dynamic (GD) approach and other methods are also presented to demonstrate efficiency and superiority of the proposed control strategy for tracking joint angle of knee exoskeleton. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. An upper-limb power-assist exoskeleton using proportional myoelectric control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhichuan; Zhang, Kejun; Sun, Shouqian; Gao, Zenggui; Zhang, Lekai; Yang, Zhongliang

    2014-04-10

    We developed an upper-limb power-assist exoskeleton actuated by pneumatic muscles. The exoskeleton included two metal links: a nylon joint, four size-adjustable carbon fiber bracers, a potentiometer and two pneumatic muscles. The proportional myoelectric control method was proposed to control the exoskeleton according to the user's motion intention in real time. With the feature extraction procedure and the classification (back-propagation neural network), an electromyogram (EMG)-angle model was constructed to be used for pattern recognition. Six healthy subjects performed elbow flexion-extension movements under four experimental conditions: (1) holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton, but with no actuation and for different periods (2-s, 4-s and 8-s periods); (2) holding a 1-kg load, without wearing the exoskeleton, for a fixed period; (3) holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton, but with no actuation, for a fixed period; (4) holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton under proportional myoelectric control, for a fixed period. The EMG signals of the biceps brachii, the brachioradialis, the triceps brachii and the anconeus and the angle of the elbow were collected. The control scheme's reliability and power-assist effectiveness were evaluated in the experiments. The results indicated that the exoskeleton could be controlled by the user's motion intention in real time and that it was useful for augmenting arm performance with neurological signal control, which could be applied to assist in elbow rehabilitation after neurological injury.

  15. Exoskeletons for industrial application and their potential effects on physical work load

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Looze, M.P. de; Bosch, T.; Krause, F.; Stadler, K.S.; O'Sullivan, L.W.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this review was to provide an overview of assistive exoskeletons that have specifically been developed for industrial purposes and to assess the potential effect of these exoskeletons on reduction of physical loading on the body. The search resulted in 40 papers describing 26 different

  16. Biomechanical walking mechanisms underlying the metabolic reduction caused by an autonomous exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Luke M; Herr, Hugh M

    2016-01-28

    Ankle exoskeletons can now reduce the metabolic cost of walking in humans without leg disability, but the biomechanical mechanisms that underlie this augmentation are not fully understood. In this study, we analyze the energetics and lower limb mechanics of human study participants walking with and without an active autonomous ankle exoskeleton previously shown to reduce the metabolic cost of walking. We measured the metabolic, kinetic and kinematic effects of wearing a battery powered bilateral ankle exoskeleton. Six participants walked on a level treadmill at 1.4 m/s under three conditions: exoskeleton not worn, exoskeleton worn in a powered-on state, and exoskeleton worn in a powered-off state. Metabolic rates were measured with a portable pulmonary gas exchange unit, body marker positions with a motion capture system, and ground reaction forces with a force-plate instrumented treadmill. Inverse dynamics were then used to estimate ankle, knee and hip torques and mechanical powers. The active ankle exoskeleton provided a mean positive power of 0.105 ± 0.008 W/kg per leg during the push-off region of stance phase. The net metabolic cost of walking with the active exoskeleton (3.28 ± 0.10 W/kg) was an 11 ± 4 % (p = 0.019) reduction compared to the cost of walking without the exoskeleton (3.71 ± 0.14 W/kg). Wearing the ankle exoskeleton significantly reduced the mean positive power of the ankle joint by 0.033 ± 0.006 W/kg (p = 0.007), the knee joint by 0.042 ± 0.015 W/kg (p = 0.020), and the hip joint by 0.034 ± 0.009 W/kg (p = 0.006). This study shows that the ankle exoskeleton does not exclusively reduce positive mechanical power at the ankle joint, but also mitigates positive power at the knee and hip. Furthermore, the active ankle exoskeleton did not simply replace biological ankle function in walking, but rather augmented the total (biological + exoskeletal) ankle moment and power. This study

  17. Experiments and kinematics analysis of a hand rehabilitation exoskeleton with circuitous joints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fuhai; Fu, Yili; Zhang, Qinchao; Wang, Shuguo

    2015-01-01

    Aiming at the hand rehabilitation of stroke patients, a wearable hand exoskeleton with circuitous joint is proposed. The circuitous joint adopts the symmetric pinion and rack mechanism (SPRM) with the parallel mechanism. The exoskeleton finger is a serial mechanism composed of three closed-chain SPRM joints in series. The kinematic equations of the open chain of the finger and the closed chains of the SPRM joints were built to analyze the kinematics of the hand rehabilitation exoskeleton. The experimental setup of the hand rehabilitation exoskeleton was built and the continuous passive motion (CPM) rehabilitation experiment and the test of human-robot interaction force measurement were conducted. Experiment results show that the mechanical design of the hand rehabilitation robot is reasonable and that the kinematic analysis is correct, thus the exoskeleton can be used for the hand rehabilitation of stroke patients.

  18. BioMot exoskeleton - Towards a smart wearable robot for symbiotic human-robot interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacek, Tomislav; Moltedo, Marta; Langlois, Kevin; Prieto, Guillermo Asin; Sanchez-Villamanan, Maria Carmen; Gonzalez-Vargas, Jose; Vanderborght, Bram; Lefeber, Dirk; Moreno, Juan C

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents design of a novel modular lower-limb gait exoskeleton built within the FP7 BioMot project. Exoskeleton employs a variable stiffness actuator in all 6 joints, a directional-flexibility structure and a novel physical humanrobot interfacing, which allows it to deliver the required output while minimally constraining user's gait by providing passive degrees of freedom. Due to modularity, the exoskeleton can be used as a full lower-limb orthosis, a single-joint orthosis in any of the three joints, and a two-joint orthosis in a combination of any of the two joints. By employing a simple torque control strategy, the exoskeleton can be used to deliver user-specific assistance, both in gait rehabilitation and in assisting people suffering musculoskeletal impairments. The result of the presented BioMot efforts is a low-footprint exoskeleton with powerful compliant actuators, simple, yet effective torque controller and easily adjustable flexible structure.

  19. Kinematic effects of inertia and friction added by a robotic knee exoskeleton after prolonged walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirota, C; Tucker, M R; Lambercy, O; Gassert, R

    2017-07-01

    The capabilities of robotic gait assistive devices are ever increasing; however, their adoption outside of the lab is still limited. A critical barrier for the functionality of these devices are the still unknown mechanical properties of the human leg during dynamic conditions such as walking. We built a robotic knee exoskeleton to address this problem. Here, we present the effects of our device on the walking pattern of four subjects. We assessed the effects after a short period of acclimation as well as after a 1.5h walking protocol. We found that the knee exoskeleton decreased (towards extension) the peak hip extension and peak knee flexion of the leg with the exoskeleton, while minimally affecting the non-exoskeleton leg. Comparatively smaller changes occurred after prolonged walking. These results suggest that walking patterns attained after a few minutes of acclimation with a knee exoskeleton are stable for at least a couple of hours.

  20. Exoskeleton Heterogeneity in Crustaceans: Quantifying Compositional and Structural Variations Across Body Parts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, R. N.; Mergelsberg, S. T.; Dove, P. M.

    2016-12-01

    Crustacean exoskeletons are a complex biocomposite of organic macromolecules and calcium carbonate minerals. The highly divergent functions and diverse morphologies of these biominerals across taxa raise the question of whether these differences are systematically reflected in exoskeleton composition and structure. Previous studies that investigated element concentrations in exoskeletons used spectroscopic methods. However, the findings were largely inconclusive because of analytical limitations and most studies concluded that magnesium, phosphorus, and other trace elements are mostly contained in the mineral fraction because concentrations in the organic framework could not be resolved. This experimental study was designed to quantify the distributions of Ca, P, Mg, and Sr in the mineral versus organic fractions of exoskeletons from the American Lobster (H. americanus), Dungeness Crab (M. magister), and Red Rock Crab (M. productus). Samples of exoskeleton from 10 body parts were collected in triplicate and dissolved using three procedures specific to extracting the 1) mineral, 2) protein, and 3) chitin phases separately. Chemical analyses of the resulting effluents using ICP-OES show the mineral fraction of the skeleton can contain significant amounts of mineralized Mg and P particularly for body parts associated with a significant difference in mineral structural ordering. The protein fraction contains more Mg and P than expected based on estimates from previous studies (Hild et al., 2008). While the element distributions vary greatly depending on the location, in body parts with thicker cuticle (e.g. claw) the mineral component appears to control overall composition. The findings have implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions based upon exoskeleton composition. First, the chemical composition of an exoskeleton cannot be assumed constant across the different body parts of an entire organism. This is particularly true when the exoskeleton of the claw is

  1. Morphological Dependence of Element Stoichiometry in the H. americanus Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mergelsberg, S. T.; Ulrich, R. N.; Dove, P. M.

    2016-02-01

    The crustacean exoskeleton is a complex biocomposite of inorganic mineral and organic macromolecules that expresses highly divergent morphologies across different taxa. While the structures and compositions of the organic framework show complex links to environmental and developmental pressures, little is known about the mineral chemistry. Previous studies of the cuticle have assumed that magnesium, phosphorous, and other trace metals are largely contained in the inorganic mineral fraction. Due to analytical limitations of structural analyses and in situ spectroscopic methods, the stoichiometry of the organic and inorganic portions could not be resolved. For example, previous Raman and XRD studies conclude the higher concentrations of trace elements, such as P and Mg measured in reinforced structures, e.g. the claw and abdomen, are primarily determined by the mineral fraction. Using the American Lobster (Homarus americanus) as a model organism to establish relationships between body part function and cuticle composition, this study quantified the distributions of Mg and P in the mineral and organic fractions. The experiments were designed to dissolve the exoskeleton of 10 body parts using three types of solutions that were specific to extracting 1) the mineral phase, 2) protein, and 3) polysaccharide. Analysis of the solutions by ICP-OES shows the mineral phase contains magnesium and phosphorous at concentrations sufficient to support the formation of calcium-magnesium and phosphate minerals. The protein fraction of the body parts contains significantly more Mg and P than previously hypothesized, while the levels of P contained in the organic portion are fairly constant. The findings demonstrate the lobster cuticle contains a significant amount of non-mineralized P and Mg that is readily water-soluble in the protein component. However, for those body parts used for defense and food acquisition, such as the claw, the mineral component determines the overall

  2. Neurorehabilitation in paraplegic patients with an active powered exoskeleton (Ekso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Milia

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Spinal cord injury (SCI is a severe disease where the patients lost the body function below the level of lesion. Neurorehabilitative exercise leads to improvements in physical functions such as strength, range of motion, transfers, wheelchair mobility, and gait. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of overground gait training using an active powered exoskeleton. Materials and Methods: Patients affected of SCI admitted to our rehabilitation unit have been studied. We used an active powered exoskeleton (Ekso. Training occurred each day for 5 days a week for a total of 4 weeks. Patients were trained for at least twenty sessions, with a duration of 45–60 min each session. Patients were scored with the 6 min walking test (6MWT before and after treatment to evaluate the movement and Ashwort scale was used to test spasticity. Psychological tests were also performed to focus on depression (Beck Depression Inventory and on self-perception (Body Uneasiness Test-A. Results: Thirteen patients were studied (mean age 31 ± 10.4; ten males and three females, who were affected by SCI with motor complete/incomplete lesions (seven complete, six incomplete, according to the American Spinal Injury Association guidelines. All patients completed the overground gait training for all 4 weeks without collateral effects. The motor recovery evaluated with the 6MWT in incomplete motor patients described a statistical significant recovery in terms of meters and absence of rest, especially in thoracic and lumbar level lesions (48/114 m [improvement 137.5%]; 98/214 m [improvement 118.37%], P < 0.05. We did not find any difference in terms of spasticity using the Ashworth Scale. After the treatment, we found in all patients a great improvement in mood disorders and body perception. Conclusions: The overground training with the exoskeleton is a promising therapeutical approach for SCI patients, which can increase both motor and

  3. Invariant hip moment pattern while walking with a robotic hip exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Cara L.; Ferris, Daniel P.

    2011-01-01

    Robotic lower limb exoskeletons hold significant potential for gait assistance and rehabilitation; however, we have a limited understanding of how people adapt to walking with robotic devices. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that people reduce net muscle moments about their joints when robotic assistance is provided. This reduction in muscle moment results in a total joint moment (muscle plus exoskeleton) that is the same as the moment without the robotic assistance despite potential differences in joint angles. To test this hypothesis, eight healthy subjects trained with the robotic hip exoskeleton while walking on a force-measuring treadmill. The exoskeleton provided hip flexion assistance from approximately 33% to 53% of the gait cycle. We calculated the root mean squared difference (RMSD) between the average of data from the last 15 minutes of the powered condition and the unpowered condition. After completing three 30-minute training sessions, the hip exoskeleton provided 27% of the total peak hip flexion moment during gait. Despite this substantial contribution from the exoskeleton, subjects walked with a total hip moment pattern (muscle plus exoskeleton) that was almost identical and more similar to the unpowered condition than the hip angle pattern (hip moment RMSD 0.027, angle RMSD 0.134, p<0.001). The angle and moment RMSD were not different for the knee and ankle joints. These findings support the concept that people adopt walking patterns with similar joint moment patterns despite differences in hip joint angles for a given walking speed. PMID:21333995

  4. Double closed-loop cascade control for lower limb exoskeleton with elastic actuation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yanhe; Zheng, Tianjiao; Jin, Hongzhe; Yang, Jixing; Zhao, Jie

    2015-01-01

    Unlike traditional rigid actuators, the significant features of Series Elastic Actuator (SEA) are stable torque control, lower output impedance, impact resistance and energy storage. Recently, SEA has been applied in many exoskeletons. In such applications, a key issue is how to realize the human-exoskeleton movement coordination. In this paper, double closed-loop cascade control for lower limb exoskeleton with SEA is proposed. This control method consists of inner SEA torque loop and outer contact force loop. Utilizing the SEA torque control with a motor velocity loop, actuation performances of SEA are analyzed. An integrated exoskeleton control system is designed, in which joint angles are calculated by internal encoders and resolvers and contact forces are gathered by external pressure sensors. The double closed-loop cascade control model is established based on the feedback signals of internal and external sensor. Movement experiments are accomplished in our prototype of lower limb exoskeleton. Preliminary results indicate the exoskeleton movements with pilot can be realized stably by utilizing this double closed-loop cascade control method. Feasibility of the SEA in our exoskeleton robot and effectiveness of the control method are verified.

  5. A Simple Exoskeleton That Assists Plantarflexion Can Reduce the Metabolic Cost of Human Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm, Philippe; Derave, Wim; Galle, Samuel; De Clercq, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    Background Even though walking can be sustained for great distances, considerable energy is required for plantarflexion around the instant of opposite leg heel contact. Different groups attempted to reduce metabolic cost with exoskeletons but none could achieve a reduction beyond the level of walking without exoskeleton, possibly because there is no consensus on the optimal actuation timing. The main research question of our study was whether it is possible to obtain a higher reduction in metabolic cost by tuning the actuation timing. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured metabolic cost by means of respiratory gas analysis. Test subjects walked with a simple pneumatic exoskeleton that assists plantarflexion with different actuation timings. We found that the exoskeleton can reduce metabolic cost by 0.18±0.06 W kg−1 or 6±2% (standard error of the mean) (p = 0.019) below the cost of walking without exoskeleton if actuation starts just before opposite leg heel contact. Conclusions/Significance The optimum timing that we found concurs with the prediction from a mathematical model of walking. While the present exoskeleton was not ambulant, measurements of joint kinetics reveal that the required power could be recycled from knee extension deceleration work that occurs naturally during walking. This demonstrates that it is theoretically possible to build future ambulant exoskeletons that reduce metabolic cost, without power supply restrictions. PMID:23418524

  6. Autonomous exoskeleton reduces metabolic cost of human walking during load carriage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Luke M; Rouse, Elliott J; Herr, Hugh M

    2014-05-09

    Many soldiers are expected to carry heavy loads over extended distances, often resulting in physical and mental fatigue. In this study, the design and testing of an autonomous leg exoskeleton is presented. The aim of the device is to reduce the energetic cost of loaded walking. In addition, we present the Augmentation Factor, a general framework of exoskeletal performance that unifies our results with the varying abilities of previously developed exoskeletons. We developed an autonomous battery powered exoskeleton that is capable of providing substantial levels of positive mechanical power to the ankle during the push-off region of stance phase. We measured the metabolic energy consumption of seven subjects walking on a level treadmill at 1.5 m/s, while wearing a 23 kg vest. During the push-off portion of the stance phase, the exoskeleton applied positive mechanical power with an average across the gait cycle equal to 23 ± 2 W (11.5 W per ankle). Use of the autonomous leg exoskeleton significantly reduced the metabolic cost of walking by 36 ± 12 W, which was an improvement of 8 ± 3% (p = 0.025) relative to the control condition of not wearing the exoskeleton. In the design of leg exoskeletons, the results of this study highlight the importance of minimizing exoskeletal power dissipation and added limb mass, while providing substantial positive power during the walking gait cycle.

  7. Reducing the metabolic cost of walking with an ankle exoskeleton: interaction between actuation timing and power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, Samuel; Malcolm, Philippe; Collins, Steven Hartley; De Clercq, Dirk

    2017-04-27

    Powered ankle-foot exoskeletons can reduce the metabolic cost of human walking to below normal levels, but optimal assistance properties remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of different assistance timing and power characteristics in an experiment with a tethered ankle-foot exoskeleton. Ten healthy female subjects walked on a treadmill with bilateral ankle-foot exoskeletons in 10 different assistance conditions. Artificial pneumatic muscles assisted plantarflexion during ankle push-off using one of four actuation onset timings (36, 42, 48 and 54% of the stride) and three power levels (average positive exoskeleton power over a stride, summed for both legs, of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.5 W∙kg-1). We compared metabolic rate, kinematics and electromyography (EMG) between conditions. Optimal assistance was achieved with an onset of 42% stride and average power of 0.4 W∙kg-1, leading to 21% reduction in metabolic cost compared to walking with the exoskeleton deactivated and 12% reduction compared to normal walking without the exoskeleton. With suboptimal timing or power, the exoskeleton still reduced metabolic cost, but substantially less so. The relationship between timing, power and metabolic rate was well-characterized by a two-dimensional quadratic function. The assistive mechanisms leading to these improvements included reducing muscular activity in the ankle plantarflexors and assisting leg swing initiation. These results emphasize the importance of optimizing exoskeleton actuation properties when assisting or augmenting human locomotion. Our optimal assistance onset timing and average power levels could be used for other exoskeletons to improve assistance and resulting benefits.

  8. Exoskeletons across the Pancrustacea: Comparative Morphology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roer, Robert; Abehsera, Shai; Sagi, Amir

    2015-11-01

    The exoskeletons of pancrustaceans, as typified by decapod crustaceans and insects, demonstrate a high degree of similarity with respect to histology, ultrastructure, function, and composition. The cuticular envelope in insects and the outer epicuticle in crustaceans both serve as the primary barrier to permeability of the exoskeleton, preventing loss of water and ions to the external medium. Prior to and following ecdysis, there is a sequence of expression and synthesis of different proteins by the cuticular epithelium for incorporation into the pre-exuvial and post-exuvial procuticle of insects and the exocuticle and endocuticle of crustaceans. Both exhibit regional differences in cuticular composition, e.g., the articular (intersegmental) membranes of insects and the arthrodial (joint) membranes of crustaceans. The primary difference between these cuticles is the ability to mineralize. Crustaceans' cuticles express a unique suite of proteins that provide for the nucleation and deposition of calcium carbonate. Orthologs of genes discussed in the present review were mined from a recently completed cuticular transcriptome of the crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, providing new insights into the nature of these proteins. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. A Biomechanical Comparison of Proportional Electromyography Control to Biological Torque Control Using a Powered Hip Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron J. Young

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundDespite a large increase in robotic exoskeleton research, there are few studies that have examined human performance with different control strategies on the same exoskeleton device. Direct comparison studies are needed to determine how users respond to different types of control. The purpose of this study was to compare user performance using a robotic hip exoskeleton with two different controllers: a controller that targeted a biological hip torque profile and a proportional myoelectric controller.MethodsWe tested both control approaches on 10 able-bodied subjects using a pneumatically powered hip exoskeleton. The state machine controller targeted a biological hip torque profile. The myoelectric controller used electromyography (EMG of lower limb muscles to produce a proportional control signal for the hip exoskeleton. Each subject performed two 30-min exoskeleton walking trials (1.0 m/s using each controller and a 10-min trial with the exoskeleton unpowered. During each trial, we measured subjects’ metabolic cost of walking, lower limb EMG profiles, and joint kinematics and kinetics (torques and powers using a force treadmill and motion capture.ResultsCompared to unassisted walking in the exoskeleton, myoelectric control significantly reduced metabolic cost by 13% (p = 0.005 and biological hip torque control reduced metabolic cost by 7% (p = 0.261. Subjects reduced muscle activity relative to the unpowered condition for a greater number of lower limb muscles using myoelectric control compared to the biological hip torque control. More subjects subjectively preferred the myoelectric controller to the biological hip torque control.ConclusionMyoelectric control had more advantages (metabolic cost and muscle activity reduction compared to a controller that targeted a biological torque profile for walking with a robotic hip exoskeleton. However, these results were obtained with a single exoskeleton device with specific

  10. A Biomechanical Comparison of Proportional Electromyography Control to Biological Torque Control Using a Powered Hip Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Aaron J; Gannon, Hannah; Ferris, Daniel P

    2017-01-01

    Despite a large increase in robotic exoskeleton research, there are few studies that have examined human performance with different control strategies on the same exoskeleton device. Direct comparison studies are needed to determine how users respond to different types of control. The purpose of this study was to compare user performance using a robotic hip exoskeleton with two different controllers: a controller that targeted a biological hip torque profile and a proportional myoelectric controller. We tested both control approaches on 10 able-bodied subjects using a pneumatically powered hip exoskeleton. The state machine controller targeted a biological hip torque profile. The myoelectric controller used electromyography (EMG) of lower limb muscles to produce a proportional control signal for the hip exoskeleton. Each subject performed two 30-min exoskeleton walking trials (1.0 m/s) using each controller and a 10-min trial with the exoskeleton unpowered. During each trial, we measured subjects' metabolic cost of walking, lower limb EMG profiles, and joint kinematics and kinetics (torques and powers) using a force treadmill and motion capture. Compared to unassisted walking in the exoskeleton, myoelectric control significantly reduced metabolic cost by 13% (p = 0.005) and biological hip torque control reduced metabolic cost by 7% (p = 0.261). Subjects reduced muscle activity relative to the unpowered condition for a greater number of lower limb muscles using myoelectric control compared to the biological hip torque control. More subjects subjectively preferred the myoelectric controller to the biological hip torque control. Myoelectric control had more advantages (metabolic cost and muscle activity reduction) compared to a controller that targeted a biological torque profile for walking with a robotic hip exoskeleton. However, these results were obtained with a single exoskeleton device with specific control configurations while level walking at a

  11. Single Degree-of-Freedom Exoskeleton Mechanism Design for Thumb Rehabilitation*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yihun, Yimesker; Miklos, Robert; Perez-Gracia, Alba; Reinkensmeyer, David J.; Denney, Keith; Wolbrecht, Eric T.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents the kinematic design of a spatial, 1-degree-of-freedom closed linkage to be used as an exoskeleton for thumb motion. Together with an already-designed finger mechanism, it forms a robotic device for hand therapy. The goal for the exoskeleton is to generate the desired grasping and pinching path of the thumb with one degree of freedom, rather than using a system actuating all its joints independently. In addition to the path of the thumb, additional constraints are added in order to control the position and size of the exoskeleton, reducing physical and sensory interference with the user. PMID:23366289

  12. Single degree-of-freedom exoskeleton mechanism design for thumb rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yihun, Yimesker; Miklos, Robert; Perez-Gracia, Alba; Reinkensmeyer, David J; Denney, Keith; Wolbrecht, Eric T

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents the kinematic design of a spatial, 1-degree-of-freedom closed linkage to be used as an exoskeleton for thumb motion. Together with an already-designed finger mechanism, it forms a robotic device for hand therapy. The goal for the exoskeleton is to generate the desired grasping and pinching path of the thumb with one degree of freedom, rather than using a system actuating all its joints independently. In addition to the path of the thumb, additional constraints are added in order to control the position and size of the exoskeleton, reducing physical and sensory interference with the user.

  13. Mechanical design of EFW Exo II: A hybrid exoskeleton for elbow-forearm-wrist rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Hui; Chen, Ziye; Wang, Hao; Zhao, Tieshi

    2017-07-01

    The use of rehabilitation exoskeleton has become an important means for the treatment of stroke patients. A hybrid exoskeleton named EFW Exo II is developed for the motor function rehabilitation of elbow, forearm and wrist. The EFW Exo II is based on a parallel 2-URR/RRS mechanism and a serial R mechanism. It could fit both left and right arms for the symmetrical and open structure, and the distance between the elbow and wrist could automatically adjust for different forearm length. Details of the mechanical design are introduced. Brushless DC servo motors with planetary gear reducer are used as the actuators of the exoskeleton. Gear drive and belt drive are used for power transmission. A three dimensional force sensor is mounted in the handle to regulate the interaction between the exoskeleton and patient. The EFW Exo II can realize rehabilitation exercise for each joint and the ranges of motion meet the rehabilitation demands of daily living.

  14. Optimal Design of a 3-DOF Cable-Driven Upper Arm Exoskeleton

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shao, Zhu-Feng; Tang, Xiaoqiang; Yi, Wangmin

    2014-01-01

      With outstanding advantages, such as large workspace, flexibility, and lightweight and low inertia, cable-driven parallel manipulator shows great potential for application as the exoskeleton rehabilitation robot...

  15. Prey exoskeletons influence the course of gastric evacuation in Atlantic cod Gadus morhua

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Couturier, C. S.; Andersen, N. G.; Audet, C.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effects of prey exoskeleton characteristics on gastric evacuation patterns in Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. Three distinct stages were highlighted in the gastric evacuation of crustacean prey characterized by a robust exoskeleton. The experiments confirmed that the three shrimp...... of the prey exoskeleton all affected gastric evacuation: duration of initial delay, overall evacuation rate and a decreased evacuation rate at the end of the process. The power exponential function (PEF), with its shape parameter, described the course of evacuation for these prey types well, especially...... the initial delay. The PEF does not, however, allow describing evacuation by the current stomach content mass independent of meal size, which limits its usefulness in estimating consumption rates of wild G. morhua. To predict and describe gastric evacuation of prey with a robust exoskeleton, it is therefore...

  16. On-Command Exoskeleton for Countermeasure Microgravity Effects on Muscles and Bones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Y.; Bao, X.; Badescu, M.; Sherrit, S.; Mavroidis, C.; Unluhisarcikh, O.; Pietrusinski, M.; Rajulu, S.; Berka, R.; Cowley, M.

    2012-06-01

    On-command exoskeleton with impeding and augmenting elements would support the operation of astronauts traveling to Mars. Thus, countermeasure deleterious effects on the muscles and bones during travel and assist their physical activity on Mars.

  17. Design of a wearable hand exoskeleton for exercising flexion/extension of the fingers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Inseong; Lee, Jeongsoo; Park, Yeongyu; Bae, Joonbum

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, design of a wearable hand exoskeleton system for exercising flexion/extension of the fingers, is proposed. The exoskeleton was designed with a simple and wearable structure to aid finger motions in 1 degree of freedom (DOF). A hand grasping experiment by fully-abled people was performed to investigate general hand flexion/extension motions and the polynomial curve of general hand motions was obtained. To customize the hand exoskeleton for the user, the polynomial curve was adjusted to the joint range of motion (ROM) of the user and the optimal design of the exoskeleton structure was obtained using the optimization algorithm. A prototype divided into two parts (one part for the thumb, the other for rest fingers) was actuated by only two linear motors for compact size and light weight.

  18. Biomechanical design of escalading lower limb exoskeleton with novel linkage joints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guoan; Liu, Gangfeng; Ma, Sun; Wang, Tianshuo; Zhao, Jie; Zhu, Yanhe

    2017-07-20

    In this paper, an obstacle-surmounting-enabled lower limb exoskeleton with novel linkage joints that perfectly mimicked human motions was proposed. Currently, most lower exoskeletons that use linear actuators have a direct connection between the wearer and the controlled part. Compared to the existing joints, the novel linkage joint not only fitted better into compact chasis, but also provided greater torque when the joint was at a large bend angle. As a result, it extended the angle range of joint peak torque output. With any given power, torque was prioritized over rotational speed, because instead of rotational speed, sufficiency of torque is the premise for most joint actions. With insufficient torque, the exoskeleton will be a burden instead of enhancement to its wearer. With optimized distribution of torque among the joints, the novel linkage method may contribute to easier exoskeleton movements.

  19. Active and Progressive Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Using Multisource Information Fusion From EMG and Force-Position EPP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yuanjie; Yin, Yuehong

    2013-12-01

    Although exoskeletons have received enormous attention and have been widely used in gait training and walking assistance in recent years, few reports addressed their application during early poststroke rehabilitation. This paper presents a healthcare technology for active and progressive early rehabilitation using multisource information fusion from surface electromyography and force-position extended physiological proprioception. The active-compliance control based on interaction force between patient and exoskeleton is applied to accelerate the recovery of the neuromuscular function, whereby progressive treatment through timely evaluation contributes to an effective and appropriate physical rehabilitation. Moreover, a clinic-oriented rehabilitation system, wherein a lower extremity exoskeleton with active compliance is mounted on a standing bed, is designed to ensure comfortable and secure rehabilitation according to the structure and control requirements. Preliminary experiments and clinical trial demonstrate valuable information on the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of the progressive exoskeleton-assisted training.

  20. Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Novel Exoskeleton for an Infant With Arm Movement Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babik, Iryna; Kokkoni, Elena; Cunha, Andrea B; Galloway, James Cole; Rahman, Tariq; Lobo, Michele A

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether a novel exoskeletal device (Pediatric-Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton [P-WREX]) is feasible and effective for intervention to improve reaching and object interaction for an infant with arm movement impairments. An 8-month old infant with arthrogryposis was followed up every 2 weeks during a 1-month baseline, 3-month intervention, and 1-month postintervention. At each visit, reaching and looking behaviors were assessed. Within sessions, the infant spent more time contacting objects across a larger space, contacting objects with both hands, and looking at objects when wearing the P-WREX. Throughout intervention, the infant increased time contacting objects both with and without the device and increased bilateral active shoulder flexion. (1) It may be feasible for families to use exoskeletons for daily intervention, (2) exoskeletons facilitate immediate improvements in function for infants with impaired upper extremity mobility, and (3) interventions using exoskeletons can improve independent upper extremity function across time.

  1. Design of a wearable cable-driven upper limb exoskeleton based on epicyclic gear trains structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Feiyun; Gao, Yongsheng; Wang, Yong; Zhu, Yanhe; Zhao, Jie

    2017-07-20

    Many countries, including Japan, Italy, and China are experiencing demographic shifts as their populations age. Some basic activities of daily living (ADLs) are difficult for elderly people to complete independently due to declines in motor function. In this paper, a 6-DOF wearable cable-driven upper limb exoskeleton (CABexo) based on epicyclic gear trains structure is proposed. The main structure of the exoskeleton system is composed of three epicyclic gear train sections. This new exoskeleton has a parallel mechanical structure to the traditional serial structure, but is stiffer and has a stronger carrying capacity. The traditional gear transmission structure is replaced with a cable transmission system, which is quieter, and has higher accuracy and smoother transmission. The static workspace of the exoskeleton is large enough to meet the demand of assisting aged and disabled individuals in completing most of their activities of daily living (ADLs).

  2. Development and pilot testing of HEXORR: Hand EXOskeleton Rehabilitation Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Godfrey Sasha B

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Following acute therapeutic interventions, the majority of stroke survivors are left with a poorly functioning hemiparetic hand. Rehabilitation robotics has shown promise in providing patients with intensive therapy leading to functional gains. Because of the hand's crucial role in performing activities of daily living, attention to hand therapy has recently increased. Methods This paper introduces a newly developed Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot (HEXORR. This device has been designed to provide full range of motion (ROM for all of the hand's digits. The thumb actuator allows for variable thumb plane of motion to incorporate different degrees of extension/flexion and abduction/adduction. Compensation algorithms have been developed to improve the exoskeleton's backdrivability by counteracting gravity, stiction and kinetic friction. We have also designed a force assistance mode that provides extension assistance based on each individual's needs. A pilot study was conducted on 9 unimpaired and 5 chronic stroke subjects to investigate the device's ability to allow physiologically accurate hand movements throughout the full ROM. The study also tested the efficacy of the force assistance mode with the goal of increasing stroke subjects' active ROM while still requiring active extension torque on the part of the subject. Results For 12 of the hand digits'15 joints in neurologically normal subjects, there were no significant ROM differences (P > 0.05 between active movements performed inside and outside of HEXORR. Interjoint coordination was examined in the 1st and 3rd digits, and no differences were found between inside and outside of the device (P > 0.05. Stroke subjects were capable of performing free hand movements inside of the exoskeleton and the force assistance mode was successful in increasing active ROM by 43 ± 5% (P Conclusions Our pilot study shows that this device is capable of moving the hand's digits through

  3. Development and pilot testing of HEXORR: hand EXOskeleton rehabilitation robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schabowsky, Christopher N; Godfrey, Sasha B; Holley, Rahsaan J; Lum, Peter S

    2010-07-28

    Following acute therapeutic interventions, the majority of stroke survivors are left with a poorly functioning hemiparetic hand. Rehabilitation robotics has shown promise in providing patients with intensive therapy leading to functional gains. Because of the hand's crucial role in performing activities of daily living, attention to hand therapy has recently increased. This paper introduces a newly developed Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot (HEXORR). This device has been designed to provide full range of motion (ROM) for all of the hand's digits. The thumb actuator allows for variable thumb plane of motion to incorporate different degrees of extension/flexion and abduction/adduction. Compensation algorithms have been developed to improve the exoskeleton's backdrivability by counteracting gravity, stiction and kinetic friction. We have also designed a force assistance mode that provides extension assistance based on each individual's needs. A pilot study was conducted on 9 unimpaired and 5 chronic stroke subjects to investigate the device's ability to allow physiologically accurate hand movements throughout the full ROM. The study also tested the efficacy of the force assistance mode with the goal of increasing stroke subjects' active ROM while still requiring active extension torque on the part of the subject. For 12 of the hand digits'15 joints in neurologically normal subjects, there were no significant ROM differences (P > 0.05) between active movements performed inside and outside of HEXORR. Interjoint coordination was examined in the 1st and 3rd digits, and no differences were found between inside and outside of the device (P > 0.05). Stroke subjects were capable of performing free hand movements inside of the exoskeleton and the force assistance mode was successful in increasing active ROM by 43 +/- 5% (P hand's digits through nearly the entire ROM with physiologically accurate trajectories. Stroke subjects received the device intervention well and

  4. A springs actuated finger exoskeleton: From mechanical design to spring variables evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortoletto, Roberto; Mello, Ashley N; Piovesan, Davide

    2017-07-01

    In the context of post-stroke patients, suffering of hemiparesis of the hand, robot-aided neuro-motor rehabilitation allows for intensive rehabilitation treatments and quantitative evaluation of patients' progresses. This work presents the design and evaluation of a spring actuated finger exoskeleton. In particular, the spring variables and the interaction forces between the assembly and the hand were investigated, in order to assess the effectiveness of the proposed exoskeleton.

  5. Kinematics analysis and three-dimensional simulation of the rehabilitation lower extremity exoskeleton robot

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Jiangcheng; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhu, Lei

    2014-01-01

    The kinematics recursive equation was built by using the modified D-H method after the structure of rehabilitation lower extremity exoskeleton was analyzed. The numerical algorithm of inverse kinematics was given too. Then the three-dimensional simulation model of the exoskeleton robot was built using MATLAB software, based on the model, 3D reappearance of a complete gait was achieved. Finally, the reliability of numerical algorithm of inverse kinematics was verified by the simulation result....

  6. The Lower Extremities Exoskeleton Actuator Dynamics Research Taking into Account Support Reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Vereikin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The article shows high relevance of research, aimed at the robotic exoskeleton creation. It defines some problems related to the process of their designing; including a lack of power supply to provide enough autonomy, and difficulties of man-machine complex control. There is a review of literature on the walking robots with tree-like kinematic structure development. This work reflects the continuing investigations, currently conducted by the authors, and relies heavily on the results of previous works, devoted to this subject.The article presents the exoskeleton dynamics equation, taking into account the impact of external forces and torques, as well as external relations imposed. Using a model of lower extremities exoskeleton developed in SolidWorks software complex, baricentric parameters of the actuator links were found. The different types of movements, committed due to harmonic changes of generalized coordinates in exoskeleton degrees of mobility, equipped with electrohydraulic actuators, were analyzed. The laws of generalized coordinate changes in time, corresponding to the worst case loading, were found. All the necessary input data for the exoskeleton dynamics equation solution were determined.The numerical values of all components of the dynamics equation were obtained as result of the dynamics equation simulation. In this case, the exoskeleton actuator load capacity was assumed to be 50 kg. The article shows dependences of torque and power in the actuator degrees of mobility on the time, as well as a curve of total capacity of all drives both, ignoring and taking into consideration the support surface reactions. Obtained dependences are the initial data for the calculation of the drive system.The proposed method for determination of exoskeleton energy parameters allows developer to perform a prompt evaluation of various options for the actuator design in accordance with the selected criteria. As a main evaluation criterion, a minimum

  7. An Upper-Limb Power-Assist Exoskeleton Using Proportional Myoelectric Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhichuan Tang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We developed an upper-limb power-assist exoskeleton actuated by pneumatic muscles. The exoskeleton included two metal links: a nylon joint, four size-adjustable carbon fiber bracers, a potentiometer and two pneumatic muscles. The proportional myoelectric control method was proposed to control the exoskeleton according to the user’s motion intention in real time. With the feature extraction procedure and the classification (back-propagation neural network, an electromyogram (EMG-angle model was constructed to be used for pattern recognition. Six healthy subjects performed elbow flexion-extension movements under four experimental conditions: (1 holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton, but with no actuation and for different periods (2-s, 4-s and 8-s periods; (2 holding a 1-kg load, without wearing the exoskeleton, for a fixed period; (3 holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton, but with no actuation, for a fixed period; (4 holding a 1-kg load, wearing the exoskeleton under proportional myoelectric control, for a fixed period. The EMG signals of the biceps brachii, the brachioradialis, the triceps brachii and the anconeus and the angle of the elbow were collected. The control scheme’s reliability and power-assist effectiveness were evaluated in the experiments. The results indicated that the exoskeleton could be controlled by the user’s motion intention in real time and that it was useful for augmenting arm performance with neurological signal control, which could be applied to assist in elbow rehabilitation after neurological injury.

  8. Inverse Kinematics for Upper Limb Compound Movement Estimation in Exoskeleton-Assisted Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Cort?s, Camilo; de los Reyes-Guzm?n, Ana; Scorza, Davide; Bertelsen, ?lvaro; Carrasco, Eduardo; Gil-Agudo, ?ngel; Ruiz-Salguero, Oscar; Fl?rez, Juli?n

    2016-01-01

    Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR) is relevant for treating patients affected by nervous system injuries (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury) -- The accurate estimation of the joint angles of the patient limbs in RAR is critical to assess the patient improvement -- The economical prevalent method to estimate the patient posture in Exoskeleton-based RAR is to approximate the limb joint angles with the ones of the Exoskeleton -- This approximation is rough since their kinematic structures dif...

  9. An assistive control approach for a lower-limb exoskeleton to facilitate recovery of walking following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Spencer A; Ha, Kevin H; Hartigan, Clare; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a control approach for a lower-limb exoskeleton intended to facilitate recovery of walking in individuals with lower-extremity hemiparesis after stroke. The authors hypothesize that such recovery is facilitated by allowing the patient rather than the exoskeleton to provide movement coordination. As such, an assistive controller that provides walking assistance without dictating the spatiotemporal nature of joint movement is described here. Following a description of the control laws and finite state structure of the controller, the authors present the results of an experimental implementation and preliminary validation of the control approach, in which the control architecture was implemented on a lower limb exoskeleton, and the exoskeleton implemented in an experimental protocol on three subjects with hemiparesis following stroke. In a series of sessions in which each patient used the exoskeleton, all patients showed substantial single-session improvements in all measured gait outcomes, presumably as a result of using the assistive controller and exoskeleton.

  10. New Design of a Soft Robotics Wearable Elbow Exoskeleton Based on Shape Memory Alloy Wire Actuators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copaci, Dorin; Cano, Enrique; Moreno, Luis; Blanco, Dolores

    2017-01-01

    The elbow joint is a complex articulation composed of the humeroulnar and humeroradial joints (for flexion-extension movement) and the proximal radioulnar articulation (for pronation-supination movement). During the flexion-extension movement of the elbow joint, the rotation center changes and this articulation cannot be truly represented as a simple hinge joint. The main goal of this project is to design and assemble a medical rehabilitation exoskeleton for the elbow with one degree of freedom for flexion-extension, using the rotation center for proper patient elbow joint articulation. Compared with the current solutions, which align the exoskeleton axis with the elbow axis, this offers an ergonomic physical human-robot interface with a comfortable interaction. The exoskeleton is actuated with shape memory alloy wire-based actuators having minimum rigid parts, for guiding the actuators. Thanks to this unusual actuation system, the proposed exoskeleton is lightweight and has low noise in operation with a simple design 3D-printed structure. Using this exoskeleton, these advantages will improve the medical rehabilitation process of patients that suffered stroke and will influence how their lifestyle will change to recover from these diseases and improve their ability with activities of daily living, thanks to brain plasticity. The exoskeleton can also be used to evaluate the real status of a patient, with stroke and even spinal cord injury, thanks to an elbow movement analysis.

  11. New Design of a Soft Robotics Wearable Elbow Exoskeleton Based on Shape Memory Alloy Wire Actuators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorin Copaci

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The elbow joint is a complex articulation composed of the humeroulnar and humeroradial joints (for flexion-extension movement and the proximal radioulnar articulation (for pronation-supination movement. During the flexion-extension movement of the elbow joint, the rotation center changes and this articulation cannot be truly represented as a simple hinge joint. The main goal of this project is to design and assemble a medical rehabilitation exoskeleton for the elbow with one degree of freedom for flexion-extension, using the rotation center for proper patient elbow joint articulation. Compared with the current solutions, which align the exoskeleton axis with the elbow axis, this offers an ergonomic physical human-robot interface with a comfortable interaction. The exoskeleton is actuated with shape memory alloy wire-based actuators having minimum rigid parts, for guiding the actuators. Thanks to this unusual actuation system, the proposed exoskeleton is lightweight and has low noise in operation with a simple design 3D-printed structure. Using this exoskeleton, these advantages will improve the medical rehabilitation process of patients that suffered stroke and will influence how their lifestyle will change to recover from these diseases and improve their ability with activities of daily living, thanks to brain plasticity. The exoskeleton can also be used to evaluate the real status of a patient, with stroke and even spinal cord injury, thanks to an elbow movement analysis.

  12. Design of a pneumatically powered wearable exoskeleton with biomimetic support and actuation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeyev, A.; Alaraje, N.; Seidel, C.; Carlson, Z.; Breda, B.

    Powered exoskeletons are designed to assist and protect the wearer. Depending on the situation they may be used to protect soldiers and construction workers, aid the survival of people in dangerous environments, or assist patients in rehabilitation. Regardless of the application there are strict requirements for designing and producing exoskeleton suites. They must be durable but light weight and flexible, have reliable power control and modulation, capable of detecting unsafe and invalid motions, and may require significant weight lifting capabilities. In this article we present an on-going research on robotic exoskeleton replicating of human muscle functions. A single wearable knee-joint prototype described in this article combines the use of soft pneumatic muscle-like actuators and a control system based off the users own natural muscle signals. The Pneumatic Exoskeleton uses bioelectrical signals to detect movement intention from the pilot. This paper details the technical design aspects of a lower-limb robotic exoskeleton with possibility of further expansion to fully functioning robotic exoskeleton suit.

  13. Gait Phase Recognition for Lower-Limb Exoskeleton with Only Joint Angular Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Du-Xin Liu

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Gait phase is widely used for gait trajectory generation, gait control and gait evaluation on lower-limb exoskeletons. So far, a variety of methods have been developed to identify the gait phase for lower-limb exoskeletons. Angular sensors on lower-limb exoskeletons are essential for joint closed-loop controlling; however, other types of sensors, such as plantar pressure, attitude or inertial measurement unit, are not indispensable.Therefore, to make full use of existing sensors, we propose a novel gait phase recognition method for lower-limb exoskeletons using only joint angular sensors. The method consists of two procedures. Firstly, the gait deviation distances during walking are calculated and classified by Fisher’s linear discriminant method, and one gait cycle is divided into eight gait phases. The validity of the classification results is also verified based on large gait samples. Secondly, we build a gait phase recognition model based on multilayer perceptron and train it with the phase-labeled gait data. The experimental result of cross-validation shows that the model has a 94.45% average correct rate of set (CRS and an 87.22% average correct rate of phase (CRP on the testing set, and it can predict the gait phase accurately. The novel method avoids installing additional sensors on the exoskeleton or human body and simplifies the sensory system of the lower-limb exoskeleton.

  14. Muscle-tendon mechanics explain unexpected effects of exoskeleton assistance on metabolic rate during walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rachel W; Dembia, Christopher L; Delp, Scott L; Collins, Steven H

    2017-06-01

    The goal of this study was to gain insight into how ankle exoskeletons affect the behavior of the plantarflexor muscles during walking. Using data from previous experiments, we performed electromyography-driven simulations of musculoskeletal dynamics to explore how changes in exoskeleton assistance affected plantarflexor muscle-tendon mechanics, particularly for the soleus. We used a model of muscle energy consumption to estimate individual muscle metabolic rate. As average exoskeleton torque was increased, while no net exoskeleton work was provided, a reduction in tendon recoil led to an increase in positive mechanical work performed by the soleus muscle fibers. As net exoskeleton work was increased, both soleus muscle fiber force and positive mechanical work decreased. Trends in the sum of the metabolic rates of the simulated muscles correlated well with trends in experimentally observed whole-body metabolic rate (R2=0.9), providing confidence in our model estimates. Our simulation results suggest that different exoskeleton behaviors can alter the functioning of the muscles and tendons acting at the assisted joint. Furthermore, our results support the idea that the series tendon helps reduce positive work done by the muscle fibers by storing and returning energy elastically. We expect the results from this study to promote the use of electromyography-driven simulations to gain insight into the operation of muscle-tendon units and to guide the design and control of assistive devices. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Novel In-Shoe Exoskeleton for Offloading of Forefoot Pressure for Individuals With Diabetic Foot Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roser, Mark C; Canavan, Paul K; Najafi, Bijan; Cooper Watchman, Marcy; Vaishnav, Kairavi; Armstrong, David G

    2017-09-01

    Infected diabetic foot ulcers are the leading cause of lower limb amputation. This study evaluated the ability of in-shoe exoskeletons to redirect forces outside of body and through an exoskeleton as an effective means of offloading plantar pressure, the major contributing factor of ulceration. We compared pressure in the forefoot and hind-foot of participants (n = 5) shod with novel exoskeleton footwear. Plantar pressure readings were taken during a 6-m walk at participant's self-selected speed, and five strides were averaged. Results were taken with Achilles exotendon springs disengaged as a baseline, followed by measurements taken with the springs engaged. When springs were engaged, all participants demonstrated a decrease in forefoot pressure, averaging a 22% reduction ( P exoskeleton solution. Results suggest that when the novel exoskeletons were deployed in footwear and exotendon springs engaged, force was successfully transferred from the lower leg through the exoskeleton-enabled shoe to ground, reducing load on the forefoot. The results need to be confirmed in a larger sample. Another study is warranted to examine the effectiveness of this offloading to prevent diabetic foot ulcer, while minimizing gait alteration in daily physical activities.

  16. Mathematical modelling of a hand crank generator for powering lower-limb exoskeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashish Singla

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available With advances in technology and ageing societal concerns growing, personal care devices are gaining importance globally. One such area is lower-limb exoskeletons, used to assist persons to move around for normal daily living. Most of the commercially available assistive exoskeletons use rechargeable Li-ion batteries, which require frequent charging to meet the operational needs. Charging becomes a problem when a person relying on a mobility exoskeleton has to go outdoors for shopping or a leisure walk. Experimental data from on-going research to develop assistive mobility exoskeletons for elderly persons indicates that, the power required for exoskeletons is around 45–60 W which falls in the output range of hand-crank generators. So use of hand-crank generators as a charging source is discussed. In this work, we develop a mathematical model to investigate the potential of hand-crank devices in charging mobility exoskeletons and to give relation between input cranking speed and output charging power, and estimate the cranking time.

  17. Design of a biologically inspired lower limb exoskeleton for human gait rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Mingxing; Chen, Weihai; Ding, Xilun; Wang, Jianhua; Bai, Shaoping; Ren, Huichao

    2016-10-01

    This paper proposes a novel bionic model of the human leg according to the theory of physiology. Based on this model, we present a biologically inspired 3-degree of freedom (DOF) lower limb exoskeleton for human gait rehabilitation, showing that the lower limb exoskeleton is fully compatible with the human knee joint. The exoskeleton has a hybrid serial-parallel kinematic structure consisting of a 1-DOF hip joint module and a 2-DOF knee joint module in the sagittal plane. A planar 2-DOF parallel mechanism is introduced in the design to fully accommodate the motion of the human knee joint, which features not only rotation but also relative sliding. Therefore, the design is consistent with the requirements of bionics. The forward and inverse kinematic analysis is studied and the workspace of the exoskeleton is analyzed. The structural parameters are optimized to obtain a larger workspace. The results using MATLAB-ADAMS co-simulation are shown in this paper to demonstrate the feasibility of our design. A prototype of the exoskeleton is also developed and an experiment performed to verify the kinematic analysis. Compared with existing lower limb exoskeletons, the designed mechanism has a large workspace, while allowing knee joint rotation and small amount of sliding.

  18. Preliminary Evaluation of Intelligent Intention Estimation Algorithms for an Actuated Lower-Limb Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mervin Chandrapal

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the experimental testing of an actuated lower-limb exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is designed to alleviate the loading at the knee joint by supplying assistive torque. It is hypothesized that the support provided will reduce the muscular effort required to perform activities of daily living and thus facilitate the execution of these movements by those who previously had limited mobility. The exoskeleton is actuated by four pneumatic artificial muscles, each providing 150N of pulling force to assist in the flexion and extension of the knee joint. The exoskeleton system estimates the user's intended motion using muscle activity information recorded from five thigh muscles, together with the knee angle. To experimentally evaluate the performance of the device, the exoskeleton was worn by an able-bodied user, whilst performing the sit-to-stand-to-sit movement. In addition, the three intention estimation algorithms were also tested to determine the influence of the various algorithms on the support provided. The results show a significant reduction in the user's muscle activity (≈ 20% when assisted by the exoskeleton in a predictable manner.

  19. Analysis of the Human Interaction with a Wearable Lower-Limb Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan C. Moreno

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The design of a wearable robotic exoskeleton needs to consider the interaction, either physical or cognitive, between the human user and the robotic device. This paper presents a method to analyse the interaction between the human user and a unilateral, wearable lower-limb exoskeleton. The lower-limb exoskeleton function was to compensate for muscle weakness around the knee joint. It is shown that the cognitive interaction is bidirectional; on the one hand, the robot gathered information from the sensors in order to detect human actions, such as the gait phases, but the subjects also modified their gait patterns to obtain the desired responses from the exoskeleton. The results of the two-phase evaluation of learning with healthy subjects and experiments with a patient case are presented, regarding the analysis of the interaction, assessed in terms of kinematics, kinetics and/or muscle recruitment. Human-driven response of the exoskeleton after training revealed the improvements in the use of the device, while particular modifications of motion patterns were observed in healthy subjects. Also, endurance (mechanical tests provided criteria to perform experiments with one post-polio patient. The results with the post-polio patient demonstrate the feasibility of providing gait compensation by means of the presented wearable exoskeleton, designed with a testing procedure that involves the human users to assess the human-robot interaction.

  20. Musculoskeletal modelling deconstructs the paradoxical effects of elastic ankle exoskeletons on plantar-flexor mechanics and energetics during hopping

    OpenAIRE

    Farris, Dominic James; Hicks, Jennifer L.; Delp, Scott L.; Sawicki, Gregory S.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments have shown that elastic ankle exoskeletons can be used to reduce ankle joint and plantar-flexor muscle loading when hopping in place and, in turn, reduce metabolic energy consumption. However, recent experimental work has shown that such exoskeletons cause less favourable soleus (SO) muscle–tendon mechanics than is observed during normal hopping, which might limit the capacity of the exoskeleton to reduce energy consumption. To directly link plantar-flexor mechanics and energy con...

  1. Robot assisted gait training with active leg exoskeleton (ALEX).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banala, Sai K; Kim, Seok Hun; Agrawal, Sunil K; Scholz, John P

    2009-02-01

    Gait training of stroke survivors is crucial to facilitate neuromuscular plasticity needed for improvements in functional walking ability. Robot assisted gait training (RAGT) was developed for stroke survivors using active leg exoskeleton (ALEX) and a force-field controller, which uses assist-as-needed paradigm for rehabilitation. In this paradigm undesirable gait motion is resisted and assistance is provided towards desired motion. The force-field controller achieves this paradigm by effectively applying forces at the ankle of the subject through actuators on the hip and knee joints. Two stroke survivors participated in a 15-session gait training study each with ALEX. The results show that by the end of the training the gait pattern of the patients improved and became closer to a healthy subject's gait pattern. Improvement is seen as an increase in the size of the patients' gait pattern, increased knee and ankle joint excursions and increase in their walking speeds on the treadmill.

  2. On the stiffness analysis of a cable driven leg exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanjeevi, N S S; Vashista, Vineet

    2017-07-01

    Robotic systems are being used for gait rehabilitation of patients with neurological disorder. These devices are externally powered to apply external forces on human limbs to assist the leg motion. Patients while walking with these devices adapt their walking pattern in response to the applied forces. The efficacy of a rehabilitation paradigm thus depends on the human-robot interaction. A cable driven leg exoskeleton (CDLE) use actuated cables to apply external joint torques on human leg. Cables are lightweight and flexible but can only be pulled, thus a CDLE requires redundant cables. Redundancy in CDLE can be utilized to appropriately tune a robot's performance. In this work, we present the stiffness analysis of CDLE. Different stiffness performance indices are established to study the role of system parameters in improving the human-robot interaction.

  3. Bimanual elbow exoskeleton: Force based protocol and rehabilitation quantification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavi, N; Herrnstadt, G; Randhawa, B K; Boyd, L A; Menon, C

    2015-08-01

    An aging population, along with the increase in cardiovascular disease incidence that accompanies this demographic shift, is likely to increase both the economic and medical burden associated with stroke in western societies. Rehabilitation, the standard treatment for stroke, can be expanded and augmented with state of the art technologies, such as robotic therapy. This paper expands upon a recent work involving a force-feedback master-slave bimanual exoskeleton for elbow rehabilitation, named a Bimanual Wearable Robotic Device (BWRD). Elbow force data acquired during the execution of custom tasks is analyzed to demonstrate the feasibility of tracking patient progress. Two training tasks that focus on applied forces are examined. The first is called "slave arm follow", which uses the absolute angular impulse as a metric; the second is called "conditional arm static", which uses the rise time to target as a metric, both presented here. The outcomes of these metrics are observed over three days.

  4. Static and Dynamic Analysis in Design of Exoskeleton Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivánkova, Ol’ga; Méri, Dávid; Vojteková, Eva

    2017-10-01

    This paper introduces a numerical experiment of creating the load bearing system of a high rise building. When designing the high-rise building, it is always an important task to find the right proportion between the height of the building and its perceptive width from the various angles of street view. Investigated high rise building in this article was designed according to these criteria. The load bearing structure of the analysed object consists of a reinforced core, plates and steel tubes of an exoskeleton. Eight models of the building were created using the spatial variant of FEM in Scia Engineer Software. Individual models varied in number and dimensions of diagrids in the exoskeleton. In the models, loadings due to the own weight, weight of external glass cladding, and due to the wind according to the Standard, have been considered. The building was loaded by wind load from all four main directions with respect to its shape. Wind load was calculated using the 3D wind generator, which is a part of the Scia Engineer Software. For each model the static analysis was performed. Its most important criterion was the maximum or minimum horizontal displacement (rotation) of the highest point of the building. This displacement was compared with the limit values of the displacement of the analysed high-rise building. By step-by-step adding diagrids and optimizing their dimensions the building model was obtained that complied with the criteria of the Limit Serviceability State. The last model building was assessed also for the Ultimate Limit State. This model was loaded also by seismic loads for comparison with the load due to the wind.

  5. Transcriptome analysis on the exoskeleton formation in early developmetal stages and reconstruction scenario in growth-moulting in Litopenaeus vannamei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yi; Wei, Jiankai; Yuan, Jianbo; Zhang, Xiaojun; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2017-04-24

    Exoskeleton construction is an important issue in shrimp. To better understand the molecular mechanism of exoskeleton formation, development and reconstruction, the transcriptome of the entire developmental process in Litopenaeus vannamei, including nine early developmental stages and eight adult-moulting stages, was sequenced and analysed using Illumina RNA-seq technology. A total of 117,539 unigenes were obtained, with 41.2% unigenes predicting the full-length coding sequence. Gene Ontology, Clusters of Orthologous Group (COG), the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis and functional annotation of all unigenes gave a better understanding of the exoskeleton developmental process in L. vannamei. As a result, more than six hundred unigenes related to exoskeleton development were identified both in the early developmental stages and adult-moulting. A cascade of sequential expression events of exoskeleton-related genes were summarized, including exoskeleton formation, regulation, synthesis, degradation, mineral absorption/reabsorption, calcification and hardening. This new insight on major transcriptional events provide a deep understanding for exoskeleton formation and reconstruction in L. vannamei. In conclusion, this is the first study that characterized the integrated transcriptomic profiles cover the entire exoskeleton development from zygote to adult-moulting in a crustacean, and these findings will serve as significant references for exoskeleton developmental biology and aquaculture research.

  6. Learning to walk with an adaptive gain proportional myoelectric controller for a robotic ankle exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koller, Jeffrey R; Jacobs, Daniel A; Ferris, Daniel P; Remy, C David

    2015-11-04

    Robotic ankle exoskeletons can provide assistance to users and reduce metabolic power during walking. Our research group has investigated the use of proportional myoelectric control for controlling robotic ankle exoskeletons. Previously, these controllers have relied on a constant gain to map user's muscle activity to actuation control signals. A constant gain may act as a constraint on the user, so we designed a controller that dynamically adapts the gain to the user's myoelectric amplitude. We hypothesized that an adaptive gain proportional myoelectric controller would reduce metabolic energy expenditure compared to walking with the ankle exoskeleton unpowered because users could choose their preferred control gain. We tested eight healthy subjects walking with the adaptive gain proportional myoelectric controller with bilateral ankle exoskeletons. The adaptive gain was updated each stride such that on average the user's peak muscle activity was mapped to maximal power output of the exoskeleton. All subjects participated in three identical training sessions where they walked on a treadmill for 50 minutes (30 minutes of which the exoskeleton was powered) at 1.2 ms(-1). We calculated and analyzed metabolic energy consumption, muscle recruitment, inverse kinematics, inverse dynamics, and exoskeleton mechanics. Using our controller, subjects achieved a metabolic reduction similar to that seen in previous work in about a third of the training time. The resulting controller gain was lower than that seen in previous work (β=1.50±0.14 versus a constant β=2). The adapted gain allowed users more total ankle joint power than that of unassisted walking, increasing ankle power in exchange for a decrease in hip power. Our findings indicate that humans prefer to walk with greater ankle mechanical power output than their unassisted gait when provided with an ankle exoskeleton using an adaptive controller. This suggests that robotic assistance from an exoskeleton can allow

  7. A lower-extremity exoskeleton improves knee extension in children with crouch gait from cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Zachary F; Damiano, Diane L; Bulea, Thomas C

    2017-08-23

    The ability to walk contributes considerably to physical health and overall well-being, particularly in children with motor disability, and is therefore prioritized as a rehabilitation goal. However, half of ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP), the most prevalent childhood movement disorder, cease to walk in adulthood. Robotic gait trainers have shown positive outcomes in initial studies, but these clinic-based systems are limited to short-term programs of insufficient length to maintain improved function in a lifelong disability such as CP. Sophisticated wearable exoskeletons are now available, but their utility in treating childhood movement disorders remains unknown. We evaluated an exoskeleton for the treatment of crouch (or flexed-knee) gait, one of the most debilitating pathologies in CP. We show that the exoskeleton reduced crouch in a cohort of ambulatory children with CP during overground walking. The exoskeleton was safe and well tolerated, and all children were able to walk independently with the device. Rather than guiding the lower limbs, the exoskeleton dynamically changed the posture by introducing bursts of knee extension assistance during discrete portions of the walking cycle, a perturbation that resulted in maintained or increased knee extensor muscle activity during exoskeleton use. Six of seven participants exhibited postural improvements equivalent to outcomes reported from invasive orthopedic surgery. We also demonstrate that improvements in crouch increased over the course of our multiweek exploratory trial. Together, these results provide evidence supporting the use of wearable exoskeletons as a treatment strategy to improve walking in children with CP. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  8. Influence of Power Delivery Timing on the Energetics and Biomechanics of Humans Wearing a Hip Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Aaron J; Foss, Jessica; Gannon, Hannah; Ferris, Daniel P

    2017-01-01

    A broad goal in the field of powered lower limb exoskeletons is to reduce the metabolic cost of walking. Ankle exoskeletons have successfully achieved this goal by correctly timing a plantarflexor torque during late stance phase. Hip exoskeletons have the potential to assist with both flexion and extension during walking gait, but the optimal timing for maximally reducing metabolic cost is unknown. The focus of our study was to determine the best assistance timing for applying hip assistance through a pneumatic exoskeleton on human subjects. Ten non-impaired subjects walked with a powered hip exoskeleton, and both hip flexion and extension assistance were separately provided at different actuation timings using a simple burst controller. The largest average across-subject reduction in metabolic cost for hip extension was at 90% of the gait cycle (just prior to heel contact) and for hip flexion was at 50% of the gait cycle; this resulted in an 8.4 and 6.1% metabolic reduction, respectively, compared to walking with the unpowered exoskeleton. However, the ideal timing for both flexion and extension assistance varied across subjects. When selecting the assistance timing that maximally reduced metabolic cost for each subject, average metabolic cost for hip extension was 10.3% lower and hip flexion was 9.7% lower than the unpowered condition. When taking into account user preference, we found that subject preference did not correlate with metabolic cost. This indicated that user feedback was a poor method of determining the most metabolically efficient assistance power timing. The findings of this study are relevant to developers of exoskeletons that have a powered hip component to assist during human walking gait.

  9. Enhancing performance during inclined loaded walking with a powered ankle-foot exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, Samuel; Malcolm, Philippe; Derave, Wim; De Clercq, Dirk

    2014-11-01

    A simple ankle-foot exoskeleton that assists plantarflexion during push-off can reduce the metabolic power during walking. This suggests that walking performance during a maximal incremental exercise could be improved with an exoskeleton if the exoskeleton is still efficient during maximal exercise intensities. Therefore, we quantified the walking performance during a maximal incremental exercise test with a powered and unpowered exoskeleton: uphill walking with progressively higher weights. Nine female subjects performed two incremental exercise tests with an exoskeleton: 1 day with (powered condition) and another day without (unpowered condition) plantarflexion assistance. Subjects walked on an inclined treadmill (15%) at 5 km h(-1) and 5% of body weight was added every 3 min until exhaustion. At volitional termination no significant differences were found between the powered and unpowered condition for blood lactate concentration (respectively, 7.93 ± 2.49; 8.14 ± 2.24 mmol L(-1)), heart rate (respectively, 190.00 ± 6.50; 191.78 ± 6.50 bpm), Borg score (respectively, 18.57 ± 0.79; 18.93 ± 0.73) and VO₂ peak (respectively, 40.55 ± 2.78; 40.55 ± 3.05 ml min(-1) kg(-1)). Thus, subjects were able to reach the same (near) maximal effort in both conditions. However, subjects continued the exercise test longer in the powered condition and carried 7.07 ± 3.34 kg more weight because of the assistance of the exoskeleton. Our results show that plantarflexion assistance during push-off can increase walking performance during a maximal exercise test as subjects were able to carry more weight. This emphasizes the importance of acting on the ankle joint in assistive devices and the potential of simple ankle-foot exoskeletons for reducing metabolic power and increasing weight carrying capability, even during maximal intensities.

  10. Autonomous exoskeleton reduces metabolic cost of human walking during load carriage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Many soldiers are expected to carry heavy loads over extended distances, often resulting in physical and mental fatigue. In this study, the design and testing of an autonomous leg exoskeleton is presented. The aim of the device is to reduce the energetic cost of loaded walking. In addition, we present the Augmentation Factor, a general framework of exoskeletal performance that unifies our results with the varying abilities of previously developed exoskeletons. Methods We developed an autonomous battery powered exoskeleton that is capable of providing substantial levels of positive mechanical power to the ankle during the push-off region of stance phase. We measured the metabolic energy consumption of seven subjects walking on a level treadmill at 1.5 m/s, while wearing a 23 kg vest. Results During the push-off portion of the stance phase, the exoskeleton applied positive mechanical power with an average across the gait cycle equal to 23 ± 2 W (11.5 W per ankle). Use of the autonomous leg exoskeleton significantly reduced the metabolic cost of walking by 36 ± 12 W, which was an improvement of 8 ± 3% (p = 0.025) relative to the control condition of not wearing the exoskeleton. Conclusions In the design of leg exoskeletons, the results of this study highlight the importance of minimizing exoskeletal power dissipation and added limb mass, while providing substantial positive power during the walking gait cycle. PMID:24885527

  11. Assessment of motion of a swing leg and gait rehabilitation with a gravity balancing exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Sunil K; Banala, Sai K; Fattah, Abbas; Sangwan, Vivek; Krishnamoorthy, Vijaya; Scholz, John P; Hsu, Wei-Li

    2007-09-01

    The gravity balancing exoskeleton, designed at University of Delaware, Newark, consists of rigid links, joints and springs, which are adjustable to the geometry and inertia of the leg of a human subject wearing it. This passive exoskeleton does not use any motors but is designed to unload the human leg joints from the gravity load over its range-of-motion. The underlying principle of gravity balancing is to make the potential energy of the combined leg-machine system invariant with configuration of the leg. Additionally, parameters of the exoskeleton can be changed to achieve a prescribed level of gravity assistance, from 0% to 100%. The goal of the results reported in this paper is to provide preliminary quantitative assessment of the changes in kinematics and kinetics of the walking gait when a human subject wears such an exoskeleton. The data on kinematics and kinetics were collected on four healthy and three stroke patients who wore this exoskeleton. These data were computed from the joint encoders and interface torque sensors mounted on the exoskeleton. This exoskeleton was also recently used for a six-week training of a chronic stroke patient, where the gravity assistance was progressively reduced from 100% to 0%. The results show a significant improvement in gait of the stroke patient in terms of range-of-motion of the hip and knee, weight bearing on the hemiparetic leg, and speed of walking. Currently, training studies are underway to assess the long-term effects of such a device on gait rehabilitation of hemiparetic stroke patients.

  12. The effects of a passive exoskeleton on muscle activity, discomfort and endurance time in forward bending work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosch, T.; Eck, J. van; Knitel, K.; Looze, M.P. de

    2016-01-01

    Exoskeletons may form a new strategy to reduce the risk of developing low back pain in stressful jobs. In the present study we examined the potential of a so-called passive exoskeleton on muscle activity, discomfort and endurance time in prolonged forward-bended working postures.Eighteen subjects

  13. Design of a Walking Assistance Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Paraplegic Patients and Hardware Validation Using CoP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Hoon Kim

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The design of an assistive lower limb exoskeleton robot for paraplegic patients that can measure the centre of pressure is presented. In contrast with most biped walking robots, the centre of pressure (CoP or zero moment point (ZMP has not been actively used in the operation of exoskeleton robots. In order to measure CoP in our exoskeleton robot, two kinds of force sensor units are installed in the exoskeleton: low profile force sensors in foot modules to measure the human weight transferred to the ground and a load cell at the shank frame to measure the supporting force. The CoP of the exoskeleton robot is calculated from the above force sensors, an inclinometer at the waist, and the positions of 14 DOF exoskeleton joints with an algorithm to change the fixed pivot using a foot contact sensor. Experiments on an able-bodied person wearing the designed exoskeleton and walking on the ground are performed to validate the designed hardware system. Through the experiments, the trajectory of the CoP of the exoskeleton with a wearer are calculated based on the proposed algorithm and it is compared with the value measured by a commercial pressure measurement system.

  14. Adaptive control based on an on-line parameter estimation of an upper limb exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riani, Akram; Madani, Tarek; Hadri, Abdelhafid El; Benallegue, Abdelaziz

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents an adaptive control strategy for an upper-limb exoskeleton based on an on-line dynamic parameter estimator. The objective is to improve the control performance of this system that plays a critical role in assisting patients for shoulder, elbow and wrist joint movements. In general, the dynamic parameters of the human limb are unknown and differ from a person to another, which degrade the performances of the exoskeleton-human control system. For this reason, the proposed control scheme contains a supplementary loop based on a new efficient on-line estimator of the dynamic parameters. Indeed, the latter is acting upon the parameter adaptation of the controller to ensure the performances of the system in the presence of parameter uncertainties and perturbations. The exoskeleton used in this work is presented and a physical model of the exoskeleton interacting with a 7 Degree of Freedom (DoF) upper limb model is generated using the SimMechanics library of MatLab/Simulink. To illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, an example of passive rehabilitation movements is performed using multi-body dynamic simulation. The aims is to maneuver the exoskeleton that drive the upper limb to track desired trajectories in the case of the passive arm movements.

  15. Robust Sliding Mode Control Based on GA Optimization and CMAC Compensation for Lower Limb Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Long

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A lower limb assistive exoskeleton is designed to help operators walk or carry payloads. The exoskeleton is required to shadow human motion intent accurately and compliantly to prevent incoordination. If the user’s intention is estimated accurately, a precise position control strategy will improve collaboration between the user and the exoskeleton. In this paper, a hybrid position control scheme, combining sliding mode control (SMC with a cerebellar model articulation controller (CMAC neural network, is proposed to control the exoskeleton to react appropriately to human motion intent. A genetic algorithm (GA is utilized to determine the optimal sliding surface and the sliding control law to improve performance of SMC. The proposed control strategy (SMC_GA_CMAC is compared with three other types of approaches, that is, conventional SMC without optimization, optimal SMC with GA (SMC_GA, and SMC with CMAC compensation (SMC_CMAC, all of which are employed to track the desired joint angular position which is deduced from Clinical Gait Analysis (CGA data. Position tracking performance is investigated with cosimulation using ADAMS and MATLAB/SIMULINK in two cases, of which the first case is without disturbances while the second case is with a bounded disturbance. The cosimulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy which can be employed in similar exoskeleton systems.

  16. Adaptive Control of Exoskeleton Robots for Periodic Assistive Behaviours Based on EMG Feedback Minimisation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luka Peternel

    Full Text Available In this paper we propose an exoskeleton control method for adaptive learning of assistive joint torque profiles in periodic tasks. We use human muscle activity as feedback to adapt the assistive joint torque behaviour in a way that the muscle activity is minimised. The user can then relax while the exoskeleton takes over the task execution. If the task is altered and the existing assistive behaviour becomes inadequate, the exoskeleton gradually adapts to the new task execution so that the increased muscle activity caused by the new desired task can be reduced. The advantage of the proposed method is that it does not require biomechanical or dynamical models. Our proposed learning system uses Dynamical Movement Primitives (DMPs as a trajectory generator and parameters of DMPs are modulated using Locally Weighted Regression. Then, the learning system is combined with adaptive oscillators that determine the phase and frequency of motion according to measured Electromyography (EMG signals. We tested the method with real robot experiments where subjects wearing an elbow exoskeleton had to move an object of an unknown mass according to a predefined reference motion. We further evaluated the proposed approach on a whole-arm exoskeleton to show that it is able to adaptively derive assistive torques even for multiple-joint motion.

  17. Robust Sliding Mode Control Based on GA Optimization and CMAC Compensation for Lower Limb Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yi; Du, Zhi-Jiang; Wang, Wei-Dong; Dong, Wei

    2016-01-01

    A lower limb assistive exoskeleton is designed to help operators walk or carry payloads. The exoskeleton is required to shadow human motion intent accurately and compliantly to prevent incoordination. If the user's intention is estimated accurately, a precise position control strategy will improve collaboration between the user and the exoskeleton. In this paper, a hybrid position control scheme, combining sliding mode control (SMC) with a cerebellar model articulation controller (CMAC) neural network, is proposed to control the exoskeleton to react appropriately to human motion intent. A genetic algorithm (GA) is utilized to determine the optimal sliding surface and the sliding control law to improve performance of SMC. The proposed control strategy (SMC_GA_CMAC) is compared with three other types of approaches, that is, conventional SMC without optimization, optimal SMC with GA (SMC_GA), and SMC with CMAC compensation (SMC_CMAC), all of which are employed to track the desired joint angular position which is deduced from Clinical Gait Analysis (CGA) data. Position tracking performance is investigated with cosimulation using ADAMS and MATLAB/SIMULINK in two cases, of which the first case is without disturbances while the second case is with a bounded disturbance. The cosimulation results show the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy which can be employed in similar exoskeleton systems.

  18. EMG and EPP-integrated human-machine interface between the paralyzed and rehabilitation exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yue H; Fan, Yuan J; Xu, Li D

    2012-07-01

    Although a lower extremity exoskeleton shows great prospect in the rehabilitation of the lower limb, it has not yet been widely applied to the clinical rehabilitation of the paralyzed. This is partly caused by insufficient information interactions between the paralyzed and existing exoskeleton that cannot meet the requirements of harmonious control. In this research, a bidirectional human-machine interface including a neurofuzzy controller and an extended physiological proprioception (EPP) feedback system is developed by imitating the biological closed-loop control system of human body. The neurofuzzy controller is built to decode human motion in advance by the fusion of the fuzzy electromyographic signals reflecting human motion intention and the precise proprioception providing joint angular feedback information. It transmits control information from human to exoskeleton, while the EPP feedback system based on haptic stimuli transmits motion information of the exoskeleton back to the human. Joint angle and torque information are transmitted in the form of air pressure to the human body. The real-time bidirectional human-machine interface can help a patient with lower limb paralysis to control the exoskeleton with his/her healthy side and simultaneously perceive motion on the paralyzed side by EPP. The interface rebuilds a closed-loop motion control system for paralyzed patients and realizes harmonious control of the human-machine system.

  19. Adaptive Control of Exoskeleton Robots for Periodic Assistive Behaviours Based on EMG Feedback Minimisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peternel, Luka; Noda, Tomoyuki; Petrič, Tadej; Ude, Aleš; Morimoto, Jun; Babič, Jan

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we propose an exoskeleton control method for adaptive learning of assistive joint torque profiles in periodic tasks. We use human muscle activity as feedback to adapt the assistive joint torque behaviour in a way that the muscle activity is minimised. The user can then relax while the exoskeleton takes over the task execution. If the task is altered and the existing assistive behaviour becomes inadequate, the exoskeleton gradually adapts to the new task execution so that the increased muscle activity caused by the new desired task can be reduced. The advantage of the proposed method is that it does not require biomechanical or dynamical models. Our proposed learning system uses Dynamical Movement Primitives (DMPs) as a trajectory generator and parameters of DMPs are modulated using Locally Weighted Regression. Then, the learning system is combined with adaptive oscillators that determine the phase and frequency of motion according to measured Electromyography (EMG) signals. We tested the method with real robot experiments where subjects wearing an elbow exoskeleton had to move an object of an unknown mass according to a predefined reference motion. We further evaluated the proposed approach on a whole-arm exoskeleton to show that it is able to adaptively derive assistive torques even for multiple-joint motion.

  20. Enhancing brain-machine interface (BMI) control of a hand exoskeleton using electrooculography (EOG).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witkowski, Matthias; Cortese, Mario; Cempini, Marco; Mellinger, Jürgen; Vitiello, Nicola; Soekadar, Surjo R

    2014-12-16

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) allow direct translation of electric, magnetic or metabolic brain signals into control commands of external devices such as robots, prostheses or exoskeletons. However, non-stationarity of brain signals and susceptibility to biological or environmental artifacts impede reliable control and safety of BMIs, particularly in daily life environments. Here we introduce and tested a novel hybrid brain-neural computer interaction (BNCI) system fusing electroencephalography (EEG) and electrooculography (EOG) to enhance reliability and safety of continuous hand exoskeleton-driven grasping motions. 12 healthy volunteers (8 male, mean age 28.1 ± 3.63y) used EEG (condition #1) and hybrid EEG/EOG (condition #2) signals to control a hand exoskeleton. Motor imagery-related brain activity was translated into exoskeleton-driven hand closing motions. Unintended motions could be interrupted by eye movement-related EOG signals. In order to evaluate BNCI control and safety, participants were instructed to follow a visual cue indicating either to move or not to move the hand exoskeleton in a random order. Movements exceeding 25% of a full grasping motion when the device was not supposed to be moved were defined as safety violation. While participants reached comparable control under both conditions, safety was frequently violated under condition #1 (EEG), but not under condition #2 (EEG/EOG). EEG/EOG biosignal fusion can substantially enhance safety of assistive BNCI systems improving their applicability in daily life environments.

  1. An assistive controller for a lower-limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation after stroke, and preliminary assessment thereof.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Spencer A; Ha, Kevin H; Goldfarb, Michael

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a novel controller, intended for use in a lower-limb exoskeleton, to aid gait rehabilitation in patients with hemiparesis after stroke. The controller makes use of gravity compensation, feedforward movement assistance, and reinforcement of isometric joint torques to achieve assistance without dictating the spatiotemporal nature of joint movement. The patient is allowed to self-select walking speed and is able to make trajectory adaptations to maintain balance without interference from the controller. The governing equations and the finite state machine which comprise the system are described herein. The control architecture was implemented in a lower-limb exoskeleton and a preliminary experimental assessment was conducted in which a patient with hemiparesis resulting from stroke walked with assistance from the exoskeleton. The patient exhibited improvements in fast gait speed, step length asymmetry, and stride length in each session, as measured before and after exoskeleton training, presumably as a result of using the exoskeleton.

  2. A Bioinspired 10 DOF Wearable Powered Arm Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soumya Kanti Manna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The developed exoskeleton device (Exorn has ten degrees of freedom to control joints starting from shoulder griddle to wrist to provide better redundancy, portability, and flexibility to the human arm motion. A 3D conceptual model is being designed to make the system wearable by human arm. All the joints are simple revolute joints with desired motion limit. A Simulink model of the human arm is being developed with proper mass and length to determine proper torque required for actuating those joints. Forward kinematics of the whole system has been formulated for getting desired dexterous workspace. A proper and simple Graphical User Interface (GUI and the required embedded system have been designed for providing physiotherapy lessons to the patients. In the literature review it has been found that researchers have generally ignored the motion of shoulder griddle. Here we have implemented those motions in our design. It has also been found that people have taken elbow pronation and supination motion as a part of shoulder internal and external rotation though both motions are quite different. A predefined resolved motion rate control structure with independent joint control is used so that all movements can be controlled in a predefined way.

  3. Balancing Control of AIT Leg Exoskeleton Using ZMP based FLC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narong Aphiratsakun

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper is focused on the use of Zero Moment Point (ZMP concept for balancing control of the Asian Institute of Technology Leg EXoskeleton-I (ALEX-I. ALEX-I has been developed to assist patients who suffer from paraplegia or immobility due to the loss of power on lower limbs. The balanced posture set-points (joint trajectories under ZMP criterion are generated offline. The ZMP based set points are provided as the desired postures to ALEX-I. Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC determines the modified set points based on postures balancing sensed by loadcells. Ground Contact Point (GCP is used to find the \\"ZMP-like in real time\\". GCP data is obtained by placing 4 loadcells forming a force plate on each foot of ALEX-I. This GCP data is then compared with the reference ZMP. Uncertainties of the model parameters, backlash, and joint tolerance are considered as disturbance. The differences of ZMP and GCP on x-z plane are used as the inputs to the FLC. The 4 outputs from FLC are the compensated angles of left and right ankles joints in roll and pitch axes that make the actual ZMP locate in the convex hull of the supporting area.

  4. Balancing Control of AIT Leg Exoskeleton Using ZMP based FLC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narong Aphiratsakun

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper is focused on the use of Zero Moment Point (ZMP concept for balancing control of the Asian Institute of Technology Leg EXoskeleton-I (ALEX-I. ALEX-I has been developed to assist patients who suffer from paraplegia or immobility due to the loss of power on lower limbs. The balanced posture set-points (joint trajectories under ZMP criterion are generated offline. The ZMP based set points are provided as the desired postures to ALEX-I. Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC determines the modified set points based on postures balancing sensed by loadcells. Ground Contact Point (GCP is used to find the “ZMP-like in real time”. GCP data is obtained by placing 4 loadcells forming a force plate on each foot of ALEX-I. This GCP data is then compared with the reference ZMP. Uncertainties of the model parameters, backlash, and joint tolerance are considered as disturbance. The differences of ZMP and GCP on x-z plane are used as the inputs to the FLC. The 4 outputs from FLC are the compensated angles of left and right ankles joints in roll and pitch axes that make the actual ZMP locate in the convex hull of the supporting area.

  5. BIOSIMILAR ARTIFICIAL KNEE FOR TRANSFEMORAL PROSTHESES AND EXOSKELETONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandr Poliakov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Artificial knees play an important role in transfemoral prostheses, lower extremity exoskeletons and walking robots. Their designs must provide natural kinematics, high strength and stiffness required in the stance phase of gait. Additionally, modern artificial knee is the principal module by means of which the prosthesis control is performed. This paper presents a prototype of an artificial polycentric knee, designed on the basis of the hinge mechanism with cross links. In order to increase strength and stiffness, the elements of the joint have curved supporting surfaces formed in the shape of centroids in relative motion of links of the hinge mechanism. Such construction is a mechanical system with redundant links but it allows for providing desirable characteristics of the artificial knee. Synthesis of the hinge mechanism is made by a method of systematic study of the parameter space, uniformly distributed in a finite dimensional cube. Stiffness of bearing surfaces elements of knee was determined by solving the contact problem with slippage of surfaces relative to each other.

  6. Shoulder mechanism design of an exoskeleton robot for stroke patient rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, Donghan; Chang, Pyung Hun; Sohn, Min Kyun; Shin, Ji-hyeon

    2011-01-01

    Shoulder girdle movement is critical for stabilizing and orientating the arm during daily activities. During robotic arm rehabilitation with stroke patients, the robot must assist movements of the shoulder girdle. Shoulder girdle movement is characterized by a highly nonlinear function of the humeral orientation, which is different for each person. Hence it is improper to use pre-calculated shoulder girdle movement. If an exoskeleton robot cannot mimic the patient's shoulder girdle movement well, the robot axes will not coincide with the patient's, which brings reduced range of motion (ROM) and discomfort to the patients. A number of exoskeleton robots have been developed to assist shoulder girdle movement. The shoulder mechanism of these robots, along with the advantages and disadvantages, are introduced. In this paper, a novel shoulder mechanism design of exoskeleton robot is proposed, which can fully mimic the patient's shoulder girdle movement in real time. © 2011 IEEE

  7. Design of a 6-DOF upper limb rehabilitation exoskeleton with parallel actuated joints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanyan; Li, Ge; Zhu, Yanhe; Zhao, Jie; Cai, Hegao

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, a 6-DOF wearable upper limb exoskeleton with parallel actuated joints which perfectly mimics human motions is proposed. The upper limb exoskeleton assists the movement of physically weak people. Compared with the existing upper limb exoskeletons which are mostly designed using a serial structure with large movement space but small stiffness and poor wearable ability, a prototype for motion assistance based on human anatomy structure has been developed in our design. Moreover, the design adopts balls instead of bearings to save space, which simplifies the structure and reduces the cost of the mechanism. The proposed design also employs deceleration processes to ensure that the transmission ratio of each joint is coincident.

  8. Right-Arm Robotic-Aided-Therapy with the Light-Exoskeleton: A General Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo-Villeda, Luis I.; Frisoli, Antonio; Sotgiu, Edoardo; Greco, Giovanni; Bergamasco, Massimo

    Rehabilitation robotics applications and their developments have been spreading out as consequences of the actual needs in the human activities of daily living (ADL). Exoskeletons for rehabilitation are one of them, whose intrinsic characteristics are quite useful for applications where repetitive, robustness and accurate performance are a must. As a part of robotic-mediated-rehabilitation programme into the worldwide, the exoskeletons are trying to improve the ADL of disable people through the fusion of several disciplines that lets to expand the capabilities of wearing a powered robotic exoskeletal device for rehabilitation tasks. This fact deserves to present this contribution from a general scope point of view, i.e., the technologies integration and its associated knowledge. So far, the Light-Exoskeleton which is intended for human arm rehabilitation in post-stroke patients is introduced. Preliminary experimental results as well as the involved stages about the system show the capabilities of using a robotic-constrained-rehabilitation for human arm.

  9. A hybrid active force control of a lower limb exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Zahari; Abdul Majeed, Anwar P P; Zainal Abidin, Amar Faiz; Hashem Ali, Mohammed A; Khairuddin, Ismail Mohd; Deboucha, Abdelhakim; Wong Paul Tze, Mohd Yashim

    2017-08-15

    Owing to the increasing demand for rehabilitation services, robotics have been engaged in addressing the drawbacks of conventional rehabilitation therapy. This paper focuses on the modelling and control of a three-link lower limb exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation that is restricted to the sagittal plane. The exoskeleton that is modelled together with a human lower limb model is subjected to a number of excitations at its joints while performing a joint space trajectory tracking, to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed controller in compensating disturbances. A particle swarm optimised active force control strategy is proposed to facilitate disturbance rejection of a conventional proportional-derivative (PD) control algorithm. The simulation study provides considerable insight into the robustness of the proposed method in attenuating the disturbance effect as compared to the conventional PD counterpart without compromising its tracking performance. The findings from the study further suggest its potential employment on a lower limb exoskeleton.

  10. Learning by Demonstration for Motion Planning of Upper-Limb Exoskeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clemente Lauretti

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The reference joint position of upper-limb exoskeletons is typically obtained by means of Cartesian motion planners and inverse kinematics algorithms with the inverse Jacobian; this approach allows exploiting the available Degrees of Freedom (i.e. DoFs of the robot kinematic chain to achieve the desired end-effector pose; however, if used to operate non-redundant exoskeletons, it does not ensure that anthropomorphic criteria are satisfied in the whole human-robot workspace. This paper proposes a motion planning system, based on Learning by Demonstration, for upper-limb exoskeletons that allow successfully assisting patients during Activities of Daily Living (ADLs in unstructured environment, while ensuring that anthropomorphic criteria are satisfied in the whole human-robot workspace. The motion planning system combines Learning by Demonstration with the computation of Dynamic Motion Primitives and machine learning techniques to construct task- and patient-specific joint trajectories based on the learnt trajectories. System validation was carried out in simulation and in a real setting with a 4-DoF upper-limb exoskeleton, a 5-DoF wrist-hand exoskeleton and four patients with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy. Validation was addressed to (i compare the performance of the proposed motion planning with traditional methods; (ii assess the generalization capabilities of the proposed method with respect to the environment variability. Three ADLs were chosen to validate the system: drinking, pouring and lifting a light sphere. The achieved results showed a 100% success rate in the task fulfillment, with a high level of generalization with respect to the environment variability. Moreover, an anthropomorphic configuration of the exoskeleton is always ensured.

  11. Exoskeleton may influence the internal body temperatures of Neotropical dung beetles (Col. Scarabaeinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Amore

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The insect exoskeleton is a multifunctional coat with a continuum of mechanical and structural properties constituting the barrier between electromagnetic waves and the internal body parts. This paper examines the ability of beetle exoskeleton to regulate internal body temperature considering its thermal permeability or isolation to simulated solar irradiance and infrared radiation. Seven Neotropical species of dung beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeinae differing in colour, surface sculptures, size, sexual dimorphism, period of activity, guild category and altitudinal distribution were studied. Specimens were repeatedly subjected to heating trials under simulated solar irradiance and infrared radiation using a halogen neodymium bulb light with a balanced daylight spectrum and a ceramic infrared heat emitter. The volume of exoskeleton and its weight per volume unit were significantly more important for the heating rate at the beginning of the heating process than for the asymptotic maximum temperature reached at the end of the trials: larger beetles with relatively thicker exoskeletons heated more slowly. The source of radiation greatly influences the asymptotic temperature reached, but has a negligible effect in determining the rate of heat gain by beetles: they reached higher temperatures under artificial sunlight than under infrared radiation. Interspecific differences were negligible in the heating rate but had a large magnitude effect on the asymptotic temperature, only detectable under simulated sun irradiance. The fact that sun irradiance is differentially absorbed dorsally and transformed into heat among species opens the possibility that differences in dorsal exoskeleton would facilitate the heat gain under restrictive environmental temperatures below the preferred ones. The findings provided by this study support the important role played by the exoskeleton in the heating process of beetles, a cuticle able to act passively in the thermal

  12. Uphill walking with a simple exoskeleton: plantarflexion assistance leads to proximal adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galle, S; Malcolm, P; Derave, W; De Clercq, D

    2015-01-01

    While level walking with a pneumatic ankle-foot exoskeleton is studied extensively, less is known on uphill walking. The goals of this study were to get a better understanding of the biomechanical adaptations and the influence of actuation timing on metabolic cost during uphill walking with a plantarflexion assisting exoskeleton. Seven female subjects walked on a treadmill with 15% inclination at 1.36 ms(-1) in five conditions (4 min): one condition with an unpowered exoskeleton and four with a powered exoskeleton with onset of pneumatic muscle actuation at 19, 26, 34 and 41% of stride. During uphill walking the metabolic cost was more than 10% lower for all powered conditions compared to the unpowered condition. When actuation onset was in between 26 and 34% of the stride, metabolic cost was suggested to be minimal. While it was expected that exoskeleton assistance would reduce muscular activity of the plantarflexors during push-off, subjects used the additional power to raise the body centre of mass in the beginning of each step to a higher point compared to unpowered walking. This reduced the muscular activity in the m. vastus lateralis and the m. biceps femoris as less effort was necessary to reach the highest body centre of mass position in the single support phase. In conclusion, subjects can use plantarflexion assistance during the push-off to reduce muscular activity in more proximal joints in order to minimize energy cost during uphill locomotion. Kinetic data seem necessary to fully understand this mechanism, which highlights the complexity of human-exoskeleton interaction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Exoskeleton may influence the internal body temperatures of Neotropical dung beetles (Col. Scarabaeinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amore, Valentina; Hernández, Malva I M; Carrascal, Luis M; Lobo, Jorge M

    2017-01-01

    The insect exoskeleton is a multifunctional coat with a continuum of mechanical and structural properties constituting the barrier between electromagnetic waves and the internal body parts. This paper examines the ability of beetle exoskeleton to regulate internal body temperature considering its thermal permeability or isolation to simulated solar irradiance and infrared radiation. Seven Neotropical species of dung beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeinae) differing in colour, surface sculptures, size, sexual dimorphism, period of activity, guild category and altitudinal distribution were studied. Specimens were repeatedly subjected to heating trials under simulated solar irradiance and infrared radiation using a halogen neodymium bulb light with a balanced daylight spectrum and a ceramic infrared heat emitter. The volume of exoskeleton and its weight per volume unit were significantly more important for the heating rate at the beginning of the heating process than for the asymptotic maximum temperature reached at the end of the trials: larger beetles with relatively thicker exoskeletons heated more slowly. The source of radiation greatly influences the asymptotic temperature reached, but has a negligible effect in determining the rate of heat gain by beetles: they reached higher temperatures under artificial sunlight than under infrared radiation. Interspecific differences were negligible in the heating rate but had a large magnitude effect on the asymptotic temperature, only detectable under simulated sun irradiance. The fact that sun irradiance is differentially absorbed dorsally and transformed into heat among species opens the possibility that differences in dorsal exoskeleton would facilitate the heat gain under restrictive environmental temperatures below the preferred ones. The findings provided by this study support the important role played by the exoskeleton in the heating process of beetles, a cuticle able to act passively in the thermal control of body

  14. A hybrid BMI-based exoskeleton for paresis: EMG control for assisting arm movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawase, Toshihiro; Sakurada, Takeshi; Koike, Yasuharu; Kansaku, Kenji

    2017-02-01

    Objective. Brain-machine interface (BMI) technologies have succeeded in controlling robotic exoskeletons, enabling some paralyzed people to control their own arms and hands. We have developed an exoskeleton asynchronously controlled by EEG signals. In this study, to enable real-time control of the exoskeleton for paresis, we developed a hybrid system with EEG and EMG signals, and the EMG signals were used to estimate its joint angles. Approach. Eleven able-bodied subjects and two patients with upper cervical spinal cord injuries (SCIs) performed hand and arm movements, and the angles of the metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint of the index finger, wrist, and elbow were estimated from EMG signals using a formula that we derived to calculate joint angles from EMG signals, based on a musculoskeletal model. The formula was exploited to control the elbow of the exoskeleton after automatic adjustments. Four able-bodied subjects and a patient with upper cervical SCI wore an exoskeleton controlled using EMG signals and were required to perform hand and arm movements to carry and release a ball. Main results. Estimated angles of the MP joints of index fingers, wrists, and elbows were correlated well with the measured angles in 11 able-bodied subjects (correlation coefficients were 0.81  ±  0.09, 0.85  ±  0.09, and 0.76  ±  0.13, respectively) and the patients (e.g. 0.91  ±  0.01 in the elbow of a patient). Four able-bodied subjects successfully positioned their arms to adequate angles by extending their elbows and a joint of the exoskeleton, with root-mean-square errors  hands using real-time control was realized by designing a new method to estimate joint angles based on EMG signals, and these may be useful for practical rehabilitation and the support of daily actions.

  15. Risk management and regulations for lower limb medical exoskeletons: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Y

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Yongtian He, David Eguren, Trieu Phat Luu, Jose L Contreras-Vidal Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA Abstract: Gait disability is a major health care problem worldwide. Powered exoskeletons have recently emerged as devices that can enable users with gait disabilities to ambulate in an upright posture, and potentially bring other clinical benefits. In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved marketing of the ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton as a class II medical device with special controls. Since then, Indego™ and Ekso™ have also received regulatory approval. With similar trends worldwide, this industry is likely to grow rapidly. On the other hand, the regulatory science of powered exoskeletons is still developing. The type and extent of probable risks of these devices are yet to be understood, and industry standards are yet to be developed. To address this gap, Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience, Clinicaltrials.gov, and PubMed databases were searched for reports of adverse events and inclusion and exclusion criteria involving the use of lower limb powered exoskeletons. Current inclusion and exclusion criteria, which can determine probable risks, were found to be diverse. Reported adverse events and identified risks of current devices are also wide-ranging. In light of these findings, current regulations, standards, and regulatory procedures for medical device applications in the USA, Europe, and Japan were also compared. There is a need to raise awareness of probable risks associated with the use of powered exoskeletons and to develop adequate countermeasures, standards, and regulations for these human–machine systems. With appropriate risk mitigation strategies, adequate standards, comprehensive reporting of adverse events, and regulatory oversight, powered exoskeletons may one day allow individuals

  16. Exoskeleton robots for upper-limb rehabilitation: state of the art and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Ho Shing; Xie, Sheng Quan

    2012-04-01

    Current health services are struggling to provide optimal rehabilitation therapy to victims of stroke. This has motivated researchers to explore the use of robotic devices to provide rehabilitation therapy for strokepatients. This paper reviews the recent progress of upper limb exoskeleton robots for rehabilitation treatment of patients with neuromuscular disorders. Firstly, a brief introduction to rehabilitation robots will be given along with examples of existing commercial devices. The advancements in upper limb exoskeleton technology and the fundamental challenges in developing these devices are described. Potential areas for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2011 IPEM. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The first results of the development and implementation of the upper extremity exoskeleton "EXAR"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorobiev, A. A.; Krivonozhkina, P. S.; Zasypkina, O. A.; Andrewshenko, F. A.

    2015-11-01

    This research considers the first results of the development and implementation of the upper extremity exoskeleton "EXAR". Made anatomical parameterization developed the device the testing of the apparatus have been conducted in accordance with the bioethics regulations with the girl I. Sh. at the age of 4 years suffering the artrogryposis. The parameters of the exoskeleton "EXAR" selected according to our methods allowed us to conduct its use in the period of 4 months. There have been no defects at all. By the analysis of the first results of the passive upper limb skeleton EXAR development we should consider them as positive and worthy of the widespread adoption in the remedial practice.

  18. Single Degree-of-Freedom Exoskeleton Mechanism Design for Thumb Rehabilitation*

    OpenAIRE

    Yihun, Yimesker; Miklos, Robert; Perez-Gracia, Alba; Reinkensmeyer, David J.; Denney, Keith; Wolbrecht, Eric T.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents the kinematic design of a spatial, 1-degree-of-freedom closed linkage to be used as an exoskeleton for thumb motion. Together with an already-designed finger mechanism, it forms a robotic device for hand therapy. The goal for the exoskeleton is to generate the desired grasping and pinching path of the thumb with one degree of freedom, rather than using a system actuating all its joints independently. In addition to the path of the thumb, additional constraints are added in...

  19. The effects of a passive exoskeleton on muscle activity, discomfort and endurance time in forward bending work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Tim; van Eck, Jennifer; Knitel, Karlijn; de Looze, Michiel

    2016-05-01

    Exoskeletons may form a new strategy to reduce the risk of developing low back pain in stressful jobs. In the present study we examined the potential of a so-called passive exoskeleton on muscle activity, discomfort and endurance time in prolonged forward-bended working postures. Eighteen subjects performed two tasks: a simulated assembly task with the trunk in a forward-bended position and static holding of the same trunk position without further activity. We measured the electromyography for muscles in the back, abdomen and legs. We also measured the perceived local discomfort. In the static holding task we determined the endurance, defined as the time that people could continue without passing a specified discomfort threshold. In the assembly task we found lower muscle activity (by 35-38%) and lower discomfort in the low back when wearing the exoskeleton. Additionally, the hip extensor activity was reduced. The exoskeleton led to more discomfort in the chest region. In the task of static holding, we observed that exoskeleton use led to an increase in endurance time from 3.2 to 9.7 min, on average. The results illustrate the good potential of this passive exoskeleton to reduce the internal muscle forces and (reactive) spinal forces in the lumbar region. However, the adoption of an over-extended knee position might be, among others, one of the concerns when using the exoskeleton. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Design and kinematic analysis of a novel upper limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeiaee, Amin; Soltani-Zarrin, Rana; Langari, Reza; Tafreshi, Reza

    2017-07-01

    This paper details the design process and features of a novel upper limb rehabilitation exoskeleton named CLEVER (Compact, Low-weight, Ergonomic, Virtual/Augmented Reality Enhanced Rehabilitation) ARM. The research effort is focused on designing a lightweight and ergonomic upper-limb rehabilitation exoskeleton capable of producing diverse and perceptually rich training scenarios. To this end, the knowledge available in the literature of rehabilitation robotics is used along with formal conceptual design techniques. This paper briefly reviews the systematic approach used for design of the exoskeleton, and elaborates on the specific details of the proposed design concept and its advantages over other design possibilities. The kinematic structure of CLEVER ARM has eight degrees of freedom supporting the motion of shoulder girdle, glenohumeral joint, elbow and wrist. Six degrees of freedom of the exoskeleton are active, and the two degrees of freedom supporting the wrist motion are passive. Kinematics of the proposed design is studied analytically and experimentally with the aid of a 3D printed prototype. The paper is concluded by some remarks on the optimization of the design, motorization of device, and the fabrication challenges.

  1. Exergaming with a pediatric exoskeleton: Facilitating rehabilitation and research in children with cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulea, Thomas C; Lerner, Zachary F; Gravunder, Andrew J; Damiano, Diane L

    2017-07-01

    Effective rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy (CP) requires intensive task-specific exercise but many in this population lack the motor capabilities to complete the desired training tasks. Providing robotic assistance is a potential solution yet the effects of this assistance are unclear. We combined a novel exoskeleton and exercise video game (exergame) to create a new rehabilitation paradigm for children with CP. We incorporated high density electroencephalography (EEG) to assess cortical activity. Movement to targets in the game was controlled by knee extension while standing. The distance between targets was the same with and without the exoskeleton to isolate the effect of robotic assistance. Our results show that children with CP maintain or increase knee extensor muscle activity during knee extension in the presence of synergistic robotic assistance. Our EEG findings also demonstrate that participants remained engaged in the exercise with robotic assistance. Interestingly we observed a developmental trajectory of sensorimotor mu rhythm in children with CP similar, though delayed, to those reported in typically developing children. While not the goal here, the exoskeleton significantly increased knee extension in 3/6 participants during use. Future work will focus on utilizing the exoskeleton to enhance volitional knee extension capability and in combination with EMG and EEG to study sensorimotor cortex response to progressive exercise in children with CP.

  2. Design and Development of a Hand Exoskeleton Robot for Active and Passive Rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Oscar Sandoval-Gonzalez; Juan Jacinto-Villegas; Ignacio Herrera-Aguilar; Otniel Portillo-Rodiguez; Paolo Tripicchio; Miguel Hernandez-Ramos; Agustín Flores-Cuautle; Carlo Avizzano

    2016-01-01

    The present work, which describes the mechatronic design and development of a novel rehabilitation robotic exoskeleton hand, aims to present a solution for neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitation. It presents a full range of motion for all hand phalanges and was specifically designed to carry out position and force-position control for passive and active rehabilitation routines. System integration and preliminary clinical tests are also presented.

  3. EXiO-A Brain-Controlled Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Rhesus Macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouga, Tristan; Zhuang, Katie Z; Olivier, Jeremy; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Nicolelis, Miguel A L; Bouri, Mohamed; Bleuler, Hannes

    2017-02-01

    Recent advances in the field of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) have demonstrated enormous potential to shape the future of rehabilitation and prosthetic devices. Here, a lower-limb exoskeleton controlled by the intracortical activity of an awake behaving rhesus macaque is presented as a proof-of-concept for a locomotorBMI. A detailed description of the mechanical device, including its innovative features and first experimental results, is provided. During operation, BMI-decoded position and velocity are directly mapped onto the bipedal exoskeleton's motions, which then move the monkey's legs as the monkey remains physicallypassive. To meet the unique requirements of such an application, the exoskeleton's features include: high output torque with backdrivable actuation, size adjustability, and safe user-robot interface. In addition, a novel rope transmission is introduced and implemented. To test the performance of the exoskeleton, a mechanical assessment was conducted, which yielded quantifiable results for transparency, efficiency, stiffness, and tracking performance. Usage under both brain control and automated actuation demonstrates the device's capability to fulfill the demanding needs of this application. These results lay the groundwork for further advancement in BMI-controlled devices for primates including humans.

  4. Design and Voluntary Motion Intention Estimation of a Novel Wearable Full-Body Flexible Exoskeleton Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunjie Chen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The wearable full-body exoskeleton robot developed in this study is one application of mobile cyberphysical system (CPS, which is a complex mobile system integrating mechanics, electronics, computer science, and artificial intelligence. Steel wire was used as the flexible transmission medium and a group of special wire-locking structures was designed. Additionally, we designed passive joints for partial joints of the exoskeleton. Finally, we proposed a novel gait phase recognition method for full-body exoskeletons using only joint angular sensors, plantar pressure sensors, and inclination sensors. The method consists of four procedures. Firstly, we classified the three types of main motion patterns: normal walking on the ground, stair-climbing and stair-descending, and sit-to-stand movement. Secondly, we segregated the experimental data into one gait cycle. Thirdly, we divided one gait cycle into eight gait phases. Finally, we built a gait phase recognition model based on k-Nearest Neighbor perception and trained it with the phase-labeled gait data. The experimental result shows that the model has a 98.52% average correct rate of classification of the main motion patterns on the testing set and a 95.32% average correct rate of phase recognition on the testing set. So the exoskeleton robot can achieve human motion intention in real time and coordinate its movement with the wearer.

  5. Markov Jump Linear Systems-Based Position Estimation for Lower Limb Exoskeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel L. Nogueira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we deal with Markov Jump Linear Systems-based filtering applied to robotic rehabilitation. The angular positions of an impedance-controlled exoskeleton, designed to help stroke and spinal cord injured patients during walking rehabilitation, are estimated. Standard position estimate approaches adopt Kalman filters (KF to improve the performance of inertial measurement units (IMUs based on individual link configurations. Consequently, for a multi-body system, like a lower limb exoskeleton, the inertial measurements of one link (e.g., the shank are not taken into account in other link position estimation (e.g., the foot. In this paper, we propose a collective modeling of all inertial sensors attached to the exoskeleton, combining them in a Markovian estimation model in order to get the best information from each sensor. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, simulation results regarding a set of human footsteps, with four IMUs and three encoders attached to the lower limb exoskeleton, are presented. A comparative study between the Markovian estimation system and the standard one is performed considering a wide range of parametric uncertainties.

  6. LIMPACT:A Hydraulically Powered Self-Aligning Upper Limb Exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Otten, Alexander; Voort, Hendrik Carsten; Stienen, Arno; Aarts, Ronald G.K.M.; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2015-01-01

    The LIMPACT is an exoskeleton developed to be used in identifying the reflex properties of the arm in stroke survivors. Information on joint reflexes helps in designing optimal patient specific therapy programs. The LIMPACT is dynamically transparent by combining a lightweight skeleton with high

  7. Simulation Architecture for Modelling Interaction Between User and Elbow-articulated Exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kruif, B.J. de; Schmidhauser, E.; Stadler, K.S.; O'Sullivan, L.W.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of our work is to improve the existing user-exoskeleton models by introducing a simulation architecture that can simulate its dynamic interaction, thereby altering the initial motion of the user. A simulation architecture is developed that uses the musculoskeletal models from OpenSim, and

  8. Differential Inverse Kinematics of a Redundant 4R Exoskeleton Shoulder Joint

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keemink, A.Q.L.; van Oort, G.; Wessels, M.; Stienen, A.

    2017-01-01

    Most active upper-extremity rehabilitation exoskeleton designs incorporate a 3R rotational shoulder joint with orthogonal axes. This kind of joint has poor conditioning close to singular configurations when all joint axes become coplanar, which reduces its effective range of motion. We investigate

  9. Design of a Quasi-Passive Parallel Leg Exoskeleton to Augment Load Carrying for Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-01

    Antigravity Experiments ............................................................................................ 13 1.2 Past work...Chapter 1 Introduction 1.1 Antigravity Experiments Exoskeletons can enhance human locomotory performance and can augment human strength, endurance, and...summary of the metabolic studies is shown in Figure 1. 14 Figure 1 Summary of metabolic experiments. Simulated antigravity experiments suggest that it

  10. Robotic exoskeletons: a perspective for the rehabilitation of arm coordination in stroke patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathanael eJarrassé

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Upper-limb impairment after stroke is caused by weakness, loss of individual joint control, spasticity and abnormal synergies. Upper limb movement frequently involves abnormal, stereotyped and fixed synergies, likely related to the increased use of subcortical networks following the stroke. The flexible coordination of the shoulder and elbow joints is also disrupted. New methods for motor learning, based on the stimulation of activity-dependent neural plasticity have been developed. These include robots that can adaptively assist active movements and generate many movement repetitions. However, most of these robots only control the movement of the hand in space. The aim of the present text is to analyse the potential of robotic exoskeletons to specifically rehabilitate joint motion and particularly inter-joint coordination. Firstly, a review of studies on upper-limb coordination in stroke patients is presented and the potential for recovery of coordination is examined. Secondly, issues relating to the mechanical design of exoskeletons and the transmission of constraints between the robotic and human limbs are discussed. The third section considers the development of different methods to control exoskeletons: existing rehabilitation devices and approaches to the control and rehabilitation of joint coordinations are then reviewed, along with preliminary clinical results available. Finally, perspectives and future strategies for the design of control mechanisms for rehabilitation exoskeletons are discussed.

  11. Robotic Exoskeletons: A Perspective for the Rehabilitation of Arm Coordination in Stroke Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrassé, Nathanaël; Proietti, Tommaso; Crocher, Vincent; Robertson, Johanna; Sahbani, Anis; Morel, Guillaume; Roby-Brami, Agnès

    2014-01-01

    Upper-limb impairment after stroke is caused by weakness, loss of individual joint control, spasticity, and abnormal synergies. Upper-limb movement frequently involves abnormal, stereotyped, and fixed synergies, likely related to the increased use of sub-cortical networks following the stroke. The flexible coordination of the shoulder and elbow joints is also disrupted. New methods for motor learning, based on the stimulation of activity-dependent neural plasticity have been developed. These include robots that can adaptively assist active movements and generate many movement repetitions. However, most of these robots only control the movement of the hand in space. The aim of the present text is to analyze the potential of robotic exoskeletons to specifically rehabilitate joint motion and particularly inter-joint coordination. First, a review of studies on upper-limb coordination in stroke patients is presented and the potential for recovery of coordination is examined. Second, issues relating to the mechanical design of exoskeletons and the transmission of constraints between the robotic and human limbs are discussed. The third section considers the development of different methods to control exoskeletons: existing rehabilitation devices and approaches to the control and rehabilitation of joint coordinations are then reviewed, along with preliminary clinical results available. Finally, perspectives and future strategies for the design of control mechanisms for rehabilitation exoskeletons are discussed. PMID:25520638

  12. Compact Hip-Force Sensor for a Gait-Assistance Exoskeleton System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hyundo; Seo, Keehong; Hyung, Seungyong; Shim, Youngbo; Lim, Soo-Chul

    2018-02-13

    In this paper, we propose a compact force sensor system for a hip-mounted exoskeleton for seniors with difficulties in walking due to muscle weakness. It senses and monitors the delivered force and power of the exoskeleton for motion control and taking urgent safety action. Two FSR (force-sensitive resistors) sensors are used to measure the assistance force when the user is walking. The sensor system directly measures the interaction force between the exoskeleton and the lower limb of the user instead of a previously reported force-sensing method, which estimated the hip assistance force from the current of the motor and lookup tables. Furthermore, the sensor system has the advantage of generating torque in the walking-assistant actuator based on directly measuring the hip-assistance force. Thus, the gait-assistance exoskeleton system can control the delivered power and torque to the user. The force sensing structure is designed to decouple the force caused by hip motion from other directional forces to the sensor so as to only measure that force. We confirmed that the hip-assistance force could be measured with the proposed prototype compact force sensor attached to a thigh frame through an experiment with a real system.

  13. Physiological consequences of using an upper limb exoskeleton during manual handling tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theurel, Jean; Desbrosses, Kevin; Roux, Terence; Savescu, Adriana

    2018-02-01

    This study aimed to assess the physiological consequences of using an upper limb exoskeleton during manual handling task, as muscle activity, upper limb kinematics, postural balance and cardiac cost. Participants performed three tasks (load lifting (LIFT), carrying (WALK) and stacking-unstacking (STACK)) with (EXOS) and without (FREE) an exoskeleton. During LIFT and STACK, the activity of the deltoid anterior muscle was significantly lower for EXOS than for FREE. During LIFT, the activity of the triceps brachii (TB) and tibialis anterior muscles significantly increased for EXO. The TB muscle activity significantly decreased for EXOS during WALK. The cardiac cost tended to increase with the use of the exoskeleton during LIFT, compared to FREE. The upper limb kinematics significantly differed between the EXOS and FREE conditions for all tasks. The benefits of the upper limb exoskeleton to reduce shoulder flexor muscle activity has been demonstrated, while broader physiological consequences have also been evidenced as increased antagonist muscle activity, postural strains, cardiovascular demand, and modified kinematics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A robotic exoskeleton to treat crouch gait from cerebral palsy: Initial kinematic and neuromuscular evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Zachary F; Damiano, Diane L; Bulea, Thomas C

    2016-08-01

    A robotic exoskeleton was designed for individuals with crouch gait caused by cerebral palsy with the intent to supplement existing muscle function during walking. The aim of this study was to evaluate how powered knee extension assistance provided during stance and swing phases of the gait cycle affect knee kinematics, and knee flexor and extensor muscle activity. Muscle activity and kinematic data were collected from four individuals with crouch gait from cerebral palsy during their normal walking condition and while walking with the exoskeleton under stance, swing, and stance & swing assistance. The exoskeleton was effective in reducing crouch by an average of 13.8° in three of the four participants when assistance was provided during the stance phase; assistance during the swing phase alone was ineffective. Peak knee extensor activity was maintained for all of the conditions during the stance and swing phases. Integrated (i.e. area under the curve) knee extensor activity decreased in two of the subjects indicating a more well-modulated activation pattern. Modest increases in peak and integrated antagonist knee flexor activity were exhibited in all participants; the subject without kinematic improvement had the greatest increase. While the exoskeleton was well tolerated, additional training with a focus on reducing knee flexor activity may lead to further improvements in crouch gait reduction.

  15. Beetle Exoskeleton May Facilitate Body Heat Acting Differentially across the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrascal, Luis M; Ruiz, Yolanda Jiménez; Lobo, Jorge M

    Exoskeletons of beetles and their associated morphological characteristics can serve many different functions, including thermoregulation. We study the thermal role of the exoskeleton in 13 Geotrupidae dung beetle species using heating experiments under controlled conditions. The main purpose was to measure the influence of heating sources (solar radiance vs. infrared), animal position (dorsal exposure vs. ventral exposure), species identity, and phylogenetic relationships on internal asymptotic temperatures and heating rates. The thermal response was significantly influenced by phylogenetic relatedness, although it was not affected by the apterous condition. The asymptotic internal temperature of specimens was not affected by the thoracic volume but was significantly higher under simulated sunlight conditions than under infrared radiation and when exposed dorsally as opposed to ventrally. There was thus a significant interaction between heating source and body position. Heating rate was negatively and significantly influenced by thoracic volume, and, although insignificantly slower under simulated sunlight, it was significantly affected by body position, being faster under dorsal exposure. The results constitute the first evidence supporting the hypothesis that the beetle exoskeleton acts differentially across the electromagnetic spectrum determining internal body temperatures. This interesting finding suggests the existence of a kind of passive physiology imposed by the exoskeleton and body size, where interspecific relationships play a minor role.

  16. THE MYOTRON -- A SERVO-CONTROLLED EXOSKELETON FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF MUSCULAR KINETICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    exoskeleton with integral force and position transducers (non-myoelectric). A two-axis instrument was designed and fabricated to establish the practicality...suited for basic studies of neuromuscular activity, studies of neuromuscular disorders, development of new rehabilitation therapy techniques, and

  17. Accelerometry-enabled measurement of walking performance with a robotic exoskeleton: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lonini, Luca; Shawen, Nicholas; Scanlan, Kathleen; Rymer, William Z; Kording, Konrad P; Jayaraman, Arun

    2016-03-31

    Clinical scores for evaluating walking skills with lower limb exoskeletons are often based on a single variable, such as distance walked or speed, even in cases where a host of features are measured. We investigated how to combine multiple features such that the resulting score has high discriminatory power, in particular with few patients. A new score is introduced that allows quantifying the walking ability of patients with spinal cord injury when using a powered exoskeleton. Four spinal cord injury patients were trained to walk over ground with the ReWalk™ exoskeleton. Body accelerations during use of the device were recorded by a wearable accelerometer and 4 features to evaluate walking skills were computed. The new score is the Gaussian naïve Bayes surprise, which evaluates patients relative to the features' distribution measured in 7 expert users of the ReWalk™. We compared our score based on all the features with a standard outcome measure, which is based on number of steps only. All 4 patients improved over the course of training, as their scores trended towards the expert users' scores. The combined score (Gaussian naïve surprise) was considerably more discriminative than the one using only walked distance (steps). At the end of training, 3 out of 4 patients were significantly different from the experts, according to the combined score (p exoskeleton. Testing this approach with other features and more subjects remains as future work.

  18. Optimal Design of a 3-DOF Cable-Driven Upper Arm Exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu-Feng Shao

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available With outstanding advantages, such as large workspace, flexibility, and lightweight and low inertia, cable-driven parallel manipulator shows great potential for application as the exoskeleton rehabilitation robot. However, the optimal design is still a challenging problem to be solved. In this paper, the optimal design of a 3-DOF (3-degree-of-freedom cable-driven upper arm exoskeleton is accomplished considering the force exerted on the arm. After analysis of the working conditions, two promising configurations of the cable-driven upper arm exoskeleton are put forward and design parameters are simplified. Then, candidate ranges of two angle parameters are determined with the proposed main workspace requirement. Further, global force indices are defined to evaluate the force applied to the arm by the exoskeleton, in order to enhance the system safety and comfort. Finally, the optimal design of each configuration is obtained with proposed force indices. In addition, atlases and charts given in this paper well illustrate trends of workspace and force with different values of design parameters.

  19. Design of compliantly actuated exo-skeleton for an impedance controlled gait trainer robot

    OpenAIRE

    van der Kooij, Herman; Veneman, J.F.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; IEEE Engineering in Medicine

    2006-01-01

    We have designed and built a lower extremity powered exo-skeleton (LOPES) for the training of post-stroke patients. This paper describes the philosophy behind the design of LOPES (Fig. 1), motivates the choices that have been made and gives some exemplary results of the ranges of mechanical impedances that can be achieved.

  20. Design of compliantly actuated exo-skeleton for an impedance controlled gait trainer robot

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Kooij, Herman; Veneman, J.F.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; IEEE Engineering in Medicine,

    2006-01-01

    We have designed and built a lower extremity powered exo-skeleton (LOPES) for the training of post-stroke patients. This paper describes the philosophy behind the design of LOPES (Fig. 1), motivates the choices that have been made and gives some exemplary results of the ranges of mechanical

  1. Design of a compliantly actuated exo-skeleton for an impedance controlled gait trainer robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kooij, Herman; Veneman, Jan; Ekkelenkamp, Ralf

    2006-01-01

    We have designed and built a lower extremity powered exo-skeleton (LOPES) for the training of post-stroke patients. This paper describes the philosophy behind the design of LOPES, motivates the choices that have been made and gives some exemplary results of the ranges of mechanical impedances that can be achieved.

  2. Inverse Kinematics for Upper Limb Compound Movement Estimation in Exoskeleton-Assisted Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Cortés

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR is relevant for treating patients affected by nervous system injuries (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury. The accurate estimation of the joint angles of the patient limbs in RAR is critical to assess the patient improvement. The economical prevalent method to estimate the patient posture in Exoskeleton-based RAR is to approximate the limb joint angles with the ones of the Exoskeleton. This approximation is rough since their kinematic structures differ. Motion capture systems (MOCAPs can improve the estimations, at the expenses of a considerable overload of the therapy setup. Alternatively, the Extended Inverse Kinematics Posture Estimation (EIKPE computational method models the limb and Exoskeleton as differing parallel kinematic chains. EIKPE has been tested with single DOF movements of the wrist and elbow joints. This paper presents the assessment of EIKPE with elbow-shoulder compound movements (i.e., object prehension. Ground-truth for estimation assessment is obtained from an optical MOCAP (not intended for the treatment stage. The assessment shows EIKPE rendering a good numerical approximation of the actual posture during the compound movement execution, especially for the shoulder joint angles. This work opens the horizon for clinical studies with patient groups, Exoskeleton models, and movements types.

  3. Inverse Kinematics for Upper Limb Compound Movement Estimation in Exoskeleton-Assisted Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, Camilo; de Los Reyes-Guzmán, Ana; Scorza, Davide; Bertelsen, Álvaro; Carrasco, Eduardo; Gil-Agudo, Ángel; Ruiz-Salguero, Oscar; Flórez, Julián

    2016-01-01

    Robot-Assisted Rehabilitation (RAR) is relevant for treating patients affected by nervous system injuries (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury). The accurate estimation of the joint angles of the patient limbs in RAR is critical to assess the patient improvement. The economical prevalent method to estimate the patient posture in Exoskeleton-based RAR is to approximate the limb joint angles with the ones of the Exoskeleton. This approximation is rough since their kinematic structures differ. Motion capture systems (MOCAPs) can improve the estimations, at the expenses of a considerable overload of the therapy setup. Alternatively, the Extended Inverse Kinematics Posture Estimation (EIKPE) computational method models the limb and Exoskeleton as differing parallel kinematic chains. EIKPE has been tested with single DOF movements of the wrist and elbow joints. This paper presents the assessment of EIKPE with elbow-shoulder compound movements (i.e., object prehension). Ground-truth for estimation assessment is obtained from an optical MOCAP (not intended for the treatment stage). The assessment shows EIKPE rendering a good numerical approximation of the actual posture during the compound movement execution, especially for the shoulder joint angles. This work opens the horizon for clinical studies with patient groups, Exoskeleton models, and movements types.

  4. Design and preliminary evaluation of an exoskeleton for upper limb resistance training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tzong-Ming; Chen, Dar-Zen

    2012-06-01

    Resistance training is a popular form of exercise recommended by national health organizations, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA). This form of training is available for most populations. A compact design of upper limb exoskeleton mechanism for homebased resistance training using a spring-loaded upper limb exoskeleton with a three degree-of-freedom shoulder joint and a one degree-of-freedom elbow joint allows a patient or a healthy individual to move the upper limb with multiple joints in different planes. It can continuously increase the resistance by adjusting the spring length to train additional muscle groups and reduce the number of potential injuries to upper limb joints caused by the mass moment of inertia of the training equipment. The aim of this research is to perform a preliminary evaluation of the designed function by adopting an appropriate motion analysis system and experimental design to verify our prototype of the exoskeleton and determine the optimal configuration of the spring-loaded upper limb exoskeleton.

  5. A lower limb exoskeleton control system based on steady state visual evoked potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, No-Sang; Müller, Klaus-Robert; Lee, Seong-Whan

    2015-10-01

    Objective. We have developed an asynchronous brain-machine interface (BMI)-based lower limb exoskeleton control system based on steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs). Approach. By decoding electroencephalography signals in real-time, users are able to walk forward, turn right, turn left, sit, and stand while wearing the exoskeleton. SSVEP stimulation is implemented with a visual stimulation unit, consisting of five light emitting diodes fixed to the exoskeleton. A canonical correlation analysis (CCA) method for the extraction of frequency information associated with the SSVEP was used in combination with k-nearest neighbors. Main results. Overall, 11 healthy subjects participated in the experiment to evaluate performance. To achieve the best classification, CCA was first calibrated in an offline experiment. In the subsequent online experiment, our results exhibit accuracies of 91.3 ± 5.73%, a response time of 3.28 ± 1.82 s, an information transfer rate of 32.9 ± 9.13 bits/min, and a completion time of 1100 ± 154.92 s for the experimental parcour studied. Significance. The ability to achieve such high quality BMI control indicates that an SSVEP-based lower limb exoskeleton for gait assistance is becoming feasible.

  6. Design and Control of a Powered Hip Exoskeleton for Walking Assistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingcong Wu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The wearable powered exoskeleton is a human-robot cooperation system that integrates the strength of a robot with human intelligence. This paper presents the research results into a powered hip exoskeleton (PH-EXOS designed to provide locomotive assistance to individuals with walking impediments. The Bowden cable actuated exoskeleton has an anthropomorphic structure with six degrees of freedom (DOF in order to match the human hip anatomy and enable natural interaction with the user. The mechanical structure, the actuation system, and the interaction kinematics of PH-EXOS are optimized to achieve preferable manoeuvrability and harmony. For the control of the exoskeleton, a real-time control system is established in xPC target environment based on Matlab/RTW. A Cascaded PID controller is developed to perform the trajectories tracking tasks in passive control mode. Besides, based on the pressure information on the thigh, a fuzzy adaptive controller is developed to perform walking assistance tasks in active control mode. Preliminary treadmill walking experiments on a healthy subject were conducted to verify the effectiveness of the proposed device and control approaches in reducing walking effort.

  7. Design and Evaluation of the LOPES Exoskeleton Robot for Interactive Gait Rehabilitation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veneman, J.F.; Kruidhof, R.; Hekman, Edsko E.G.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2007-01-01

    This paper introduces a newly developed gait rehabilitation device. The device, called LOPES, combines a freely translatable and 2-D-actuated pelvis segment with a leg exoskeleton containing three actuated rotational joints: two at the hip and one at the knee. The joints are impedance controlled to

  8. A Preliminary Assessment of Legged Mobility Provided by a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Persons With Paraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Ryan J.; Quintero, Hugo A.; Murray, Spencer A.; Ha, Kevin H.; Hartigan, Clare; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an assessment of a lower limb exoskeleton for providing legged mobility to people with paraplegia. In particular, the paper presents a single-subject case study comparing legged locomotion using the exoskeleton to locomotion using knee–ankle–foot orthoses (KAFOs) on a subject with a T10 motor and sensory complete injury. The assessment utilizes three assessment instruments to characterize legged mobility, which are the timed up-and-go test, the Ten-Meter Walk Test (10 MWT), and the Six-Minute Walk Test (6 MWT), which collectively assess the subject’s ability to stand, walk, turn, and sit. The exertion associated with each assessment instrument was assessed using the Physiological Cost Index. Results indicate that the subject was able to perform the respective assessment instruments 25%, 70%, and 80% faster with the exoskeleton relative to the KAFOs for the timed up-and-go test, the 10 MWT, and the 6 MWT, respectively. Measurements of exertion indicate that the exoskeleton requires 1.6, 5.2, and 3.2 times less exertion than the KAFOs for each respective assessment instrument. The results indicate that the enhancement in speed and reduction in exertion are more significant during walking than during gait transitions. PMID:23797285

  9. Powered robotic exoskeletons in post-stroke rehabilitation of gait: a scoping review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louie, Dennis R; Eng, Janice J

    2016-06-08

    Powered robotic exoskeletons are a potential intervention for gait rehabilitation in stroke to enable repetitive walking practice to maximize neural recovery. As this is a relatively new technology for stroke, a scoping review can help guide current research and propose recommendations for advancing the research development. The aim of this scoping review was to map the current literature surrounding the use of robotic exoskeletons for gait rehabilitation in adults post-stroke. Five databases (Pubmed, OVID MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Clinical Trials) were searched for articles from inception to October 2015. Reference lists of included articles were reviewed to identify additional studies. Articles were included if they utilized a robotic exoskeleton as a gait training intervention for adult stroke survivors and reported walking outcome measures. Of 441 records identified, 11 studies, all published within the last five years, involving 216 participants met the inclusion criteria. The study designs ranged from pre-post clinical studies (n = 7) to controlled trials (n = 4); five of the studies utilized a robotic exoskeleton device unilaterally, while six used a bilateral design. Participants ranged from sub-acute (6 months) stroke. Training periods ranged from single-session to 8-week interventions. Main walking outcome measures were gait speed, Timed Up and Go, 6-min Walk Test, and the Functional Ambulation Category. Meaningful improvement with exoskeleton-based gait training was more apparent in sub-acute stroke compared to chronic stroke. Two of the four controlled trials showed no greater improvement in any walking outcomes compared to a control group in chronic stroke. In conclusion, clinical trials demonstrate that powered robotic exoskeletons can be used safely as a gait training intervention for stroke. Preliminary findings suggest that exoskeletal gait training is equivalent to traditional therapy for chronic stroke

  10. Isotropy of an Upper Limb Exoskeleton and the Kinematics and Dynamics of the Human Arm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C. Perry

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The integration of human and robot into a single system offers remarkable opportunities for a new generation of assistive technology. Despite the recent prominence of upper limb exoskeletons in assistive applications, the human arm kinematics and dynamics are usually described in single or multiple arm movements that are not associated with any concrete activity of daily living (ADL. Moreover, the design of an exoskeleton, which is physically linked to the human body, must have a workspace that matches as close as possible with the workspace of the human body, while at the same time avoid singular configurations of the exoskeleton within the human workspace. The aims of the research reported in this manuscript are (1 to study the kinematics and the dynamics of the human arm during daily activities in a free and unconstrained environment, (2 to study the manipulability (isotropy of a 7-degree-of-freedom (DOF-powered exoskeleton arm given the kinematics and the dynamics of the human arm in ADLs. Kinematic data of the upper limb were acquired with a motion capture system while performing 24 daily activities from six subjects. Utilising a 7-DOF model of the human arm, the equations of motion were used to calculate joint torques from measured kinematics. In addition, the exoskeleton isotropy was calculated and mapped with respect to the spacial distribution of the human arm configurations during the 24 daily activities. The results indicate that the kinematic joint distributions representing all 24 actions appear normally distributed except for elbow flexion–extension with the emergence of three modal centres. Velocity and acceleration components of joint torque distributions were normally distributed about 0 Nm, whereas gravitational component distributions varied with joint. Additionally, velocity effects were found to contribute only 1/100th of the total joint torque, whereas acceleration components contribute 1/10th of the total torque at the

  11. Novel swing-assist un-motorized exoskeletons for gait training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Banala Sai K

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Robotics is emerging as a promising tool for functional training of human movement. Much of the research in this area over the last decade has focused on upper extremity orthotic devices. Some recent commercial designs proposed for the lower extremity are powered and expensive – hence, these could have limited affordability by most clinics. In this paper, we present a novel un-motorized bilateral exoskeleton that can be used to assist in treadmill training of motor-impaired patients, such as with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury. The exoskeleton is designed such that the human leg will have a desirable swing motion, once it is strapped to the exoskeleton. Since this exoskeleton is un-motorized, it can potentially be produced cheaply and could reduce the physical demand on therapists during treadmill training. Results A swing-assist bilateral exoskeleton was designed and fabricated at the University of Delaware having the following salient features: (i The design uses torsional springs at the hip and the knee joints to assist the swing motion. The springs get charged by the treadmill during stance phase of the leg and provide propulsion forces to the leg during swing. (ii The design of the exoskeleton uses simple dynamic models of sagittal plane walking, which are used to optimize the parameters of the springs so that the foot can clear the ground and have a desirable forward motion during walking. The bilateral exoskeleton was tested on a healthy subject during treadmill walking for a range of walking speeds between 1.0 mph and 4.0 mph. Joint encoders and interface force-torque sensors mounted on the exoskeleton were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the exoskeleton in terms of the hip and knee joint torques applied by the human during treadmill walking. Conclusion We compared two different cases. In case 1, we estimated the torque applied by the human joints when walking with the device using the joint kinematic

  12. The Effectiveness and Safety of Exoskeletons as Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices in the Treatment of Neurologic Gait Disorders in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisahn, Christian; Aach, Mirko; Jansen, Oliver; Moisi, Marc; Mayadev, Angeli; Pagarigan, Krystle T; Dettori, Joseph R; Schildhauer, Thomas A

    2016-12-01

    Study Design Systematic review. Clinical Questions (1) When used as an assistive device, do wearable exoskeletons improve lower extremity function or gait compared with knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs) in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? (2) When used as a rehabilitation device, do wearable exoskeletons improve lower extremity function or gait compared with other rehabilitation strategies in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? (3) When used as an assistive or rehabilitation device, are wearable exoskeletons safe compared with KAFO for assistance or other rehabilitation strategies for rehabilitation in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? Methods PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases and reference lists of key articles were searched from database inception to May 2, 2016, to identify studies evaluating the effectiveness of wearable exoskeletons used as assistive or rehabilitative devices in patients with incomplete or complete spinal cord injury. Results No comparison studies were found evaluating exoskeletons as an assistive device. Nine comparison studies (11 publications) evaluated the use of exoskeletons as a rehabilitative device. The 10-meter walk test velocity and Spinal Cord Independence Measure scores showed no difference in change from baseline among patients undergoing exoskeleton training compared with various comparator therapies. The remaining primary outcome measures of 6-minute walk test distance and Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury I and II and Functional Independence Measure-Locomotor scores showed mixed results, with some studies indicating no difference in change from baseline between exoskeleton training and comparator therapies, some indicating benefit of exoskeleton over comparator therapies, and some indicating benefit of comparator therapies over exoskeleton. Conclusion There is no data to compare locomotion assistance with exoskeleton versus conventional KAFOs

  13. The Effectiveness and Safety of Exoskeletons as Assistive and Rehabilitation Devices in the Treatment of Neurologic Gait Disorders in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisahn, Christian; Aach, Mirko; Jansen, Oliver; Moisi, Marc; Mayadev, Angeli; Pagarigan, Krystle T.; Dettori, Joseph R.; Schildhauer, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Study Design Systematic review. Clinical Questions (1) When used as an assistive device, do wearable exoskeletons improve lower extremity function or gait compared with knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs) in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? (2) When used as a rehabilitation device, do wearable exoskeletons improve lower extremity function or gait compared with other rehabilitation strategies in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? (3) When used as an assistive or rehabilitation device, are wearable exoskeletons safe compared with KAFO for assistance or other rehabilitation strategies for rehabilitation in patients with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? Methods PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases and reference lists of key articles were searched from database inception to May 2, 2016, to identify studies evaluating the effectiveness of wearable exoskeletons used as assistive or rehabilitative devices in patients with incomplete or complete spinal cord injury. Results No comparison studies were found evaluating exoskeletons as an assistive device. Nine comparison studies (11 publications) evaluated the use of exoskeletons as a rehabilitative device. The 10-meter walk test velocity and Spinal Cord Independence Measure scores showed no difference in change from baseline among patients undergoing exoskeleton training compared with various comparator therapies. The remaining primary outcome measures of 6-minute walk test distance and Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury I and II and Functional Independence Measure–Locomotor scores showed mixed results, with some studies indicating no difference in change from baseline between exoskeleton training and comparator therapies, some indicating benefit of exoskeleton over comparator therapies, and some indicating benefit of comparator therapies over exoskeleton. Conclusion There is no data to compare locomotion assistance with exoskeleton versus conventional KAFOs

  14. A series elastic- and Bowden-cable-based actuation system for use as torque actuator in exoskeleton-type robots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veneman, J.F.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; Kruidhof, R.; van der Helm, F.C.T.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2006-01-01

    Within the context of impedance controlled exoskeletons, common actuators have important drawbacks. Either the actuators are heavy, have a complex structure or are poor torque sources, due to gearing or heavy nonlinearity. Considering our application, an impedance controlled gait rehabilitation

  15. Mechanical Design Of Prototype Exoskeleton Robotic System For Human Leg Movements And Implementation Of Gait Data With Neural Network

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Evren Meltem Toygar; Ahmet Özkurt; Zeki Kıral; Mehmet Çakmakçı; Binnur Gören Kıral; Yavuz Şenol; Taner Akkan; Yusuf Arman; Tolga Olcay; Necati Mutlu Dağhan; Murat Karagöz

    2012-01-01

    .... Exoskeleton system is modeled by using SolidWorks. At the same time, gait data is acquired on human body and sole is divided four parts after that reaction forces are gauged during the walking...

  16. Transcriptome analysis on the exoskeleton formation in early developmetal stages and reconstruction scenario in growth-moulting in Litopenaeus vannamei

    OpenAIRE

    Yi Gao; Jiankai Wei; Jianbo Yuan; Xiaojun Zhang; Fuhua Li; Jianhai Xiang

    2017-01-01

    Exoskeleton construction is an important issue in shrimp. To better understand the molecular mechanism of exoskeleton formation, development and reconstruction, the transcriptome of the entire developmental process in Litopenaeus vannamei, including nine early developmental stages and eight adult-moulting stages, was sequenced and analysed using Illumina RNA-seq technology. A total of 117,539 unigenes were obtained, with 41.2% unigenes predicting the full-length coding sequence. Gene Ontology...

  17. TWO-DEGREE ADJUSTABLE EXOSKELETON FOR ASSISTANCE OF THE HUMAN ARM USING A MECHANICAL SYSTEM OF FAST ASSEMBLY AND UPGRADABILITY

    OpenAIRE

    Restrepo-Zapata, Julio; Gallego-Duque, Carlos; Marquez-Viloria, David; Botero-Valencia, Juan

    2017-01-01

    Stroke affects about 975,000 people annually. Currently different robotic systems are used, such as exoskeletons that support motor rehabilitation, where they sometimes increase the patient's possible recovery rate. But these systems are expensive and often require adequate locations for therapy routines. This article offers the mechanical design of an exoskeleton concept for human upper limbs that allows the attachment to the arm and forearm, offering protection, torque, and movement, plus t...

  18. Design and evaluation of a quasi-passive knee exoskeleton for investigation of motor adaptation in lower extremity joints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamaei, Kamran; Cenciarini, Massimo; Adams, Albert A; Gregorczyk, Karen N; Schiffman, Jeffrey M; Dollar, Aaron M

    2014-06-01

    In this study, we describe the mechanical design and control scheme of a quasi-passive knee exoskeleton intended to investigate the biomechanical behavior of the knee joint during interaction with externally applied impedances. As the human knee behaves much like a linear spring during the stance phase of normal walking gait, the exoskeleton implements a spring across the knee in the weight acceptance (WA) phase of the gait while allowing free motion throughout the rest of the gait cycle, accomplished via an electromechanical clutch. The stiffness of the device is able to be varied by swapping springs, and the timing of engagement/disengagement changed to accommodate different loading profiles. After describing the design and control, we validate the mechanical performance and reliability of the exoskeleton through cyclic testing on a mechanical knee simulator. We then describe a preliminary experiment on three healthy adults to evaluate the functionality of the device on both left and right legs. The kinetic and kinematic analyses of these subjects show that the exoskeleton assistance can partially/fully replace the function of the knee joint and obtain nearly invariant moment and angle profiles for the hip and ankle joints, and the overall knee joint and exoskeleton complex under the applied moments of the exoskeleton versus the control condition, implying that the subjects undergo a considerable amount of motor adaptation in their lower extremities to the exoskeletal impedances, and encouraging more in-depth future experiments with the device.

  19. Hybrid FES-robot cooperative control of ambulatory gait rehabilitation exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    del-Ama, Antonio J; Gil-Agudo, Angel; Pons, José L; Moreno, Juan C

    2014-03-04

    Robotic and functional electrical stimulation (FES) approaches are used for rehabilitation of walking impairment of spinal cord injured individuals. Although devices are commercially available, there are still issues that remain to be solved. Control of hybrid exoskeletons aims at blending robotic exoskeletons and electrical stimulation to overcome the drawbacks of each approach while preserving their advantages. Hybrid actuation and control have a considerable potential for walking rehabilitation but there is a need of novel control strategies of hybrid systems that adequately manage the balance between FES and robotic controllers. Combination of FES and robotic control is a challenging issue, due to the non-linear behavior of muscle under stimulation and the lack of developments in the field of hybrid control. In this article, a cooperative control strategy of a hybrid exoskeleton is presented. This strategy is designed to overcome the main disadvantages of muscular stimulation: electromechanical delay and change in muscle performance over time, and to balance muscular and robotic actuation during walking.Experimental results in healthy subjects show the ability of the hybrid FES-robot cooperative control to balance power contribution between exoskeleton and muscle stimulation. The robotic exoskeleton decreases assistance while adequate knee kinematics are guaranteed. A new technique to monitor muscle performance is employed, which allows to estimate muscle fatigue and implement muscle fatigue management strategies. Kinesis is therefore the first ambulatory hybrid exoskeleton that can effectively balance robotic and FES actuation during walking. This represents a new opportunity to implement new rehabilitation interventions to induce locomotor activity in patients with paraplegia.Acronym list: 10 mWT: ten meters walking test; 6 MWT: six minutes walking test; FSM: finite-state machine; t-FSM: time-domain FSM; c-FSM: cycle-domain FSM; FES: functional electrical

  20. A muscle-driven approach to restore stepping with an exoskeleton for individuals with paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Sarah R; Nandor, Mark J; Li, Lu; Kobetic, Rudi; Foglyano, Kevin M; Schnellenberger, John R; Audu, Musa L; Pinault, Gilles; Quinn, Roger D; Triolo, Ronald J

    2017-05-30

    Functional neuromuscular stimulation, lower limb orthosis, powered lower limb exoskeleton, and hybrid neuroprosthesis (HNP) technologies can restore stepping in individuals with paraplegia due to spinal cord injury (SCI). However, a self-contained muscle-driven controllable exoskeleton approach based on an implanted neural stimulator to restore walking has not been previously demonstrated, which could potentially result in system use outside the laboratory and viable for long term use or clinical testing. In this work, we designed and evaluated an untethered muscle-driven controllable exoskeleton to restore stepping in three individuals with paralysis from SCI. The self-contained HNP combined neural stimulation to activate the paralyzed muscles and generate joint torques for limb movements with a controllable lower limb exoskeleton to stabilize and support the user. An onboard controller processed exoskeleton sensor signals, determined appropriate exoskeletal constraints and stimulation commands for a finite state machine (FSM), and transmitted data over Bluetooth to an off-board computer for real-time monitoring and data recording. The FSM coordinated stimulation and exoskeletal constraints to enable functions, selected with a wireless finger switch user interface, for standing up, standing, stepping, or sitting down. In the stepping function, the FSM used a sensor-based gait event detector to determine transitions between gait phases of double stance, early swing, late swing, and weight acceptance. The HNP restored stepping in three individuals with motor complete paralysis due to SCI. The controller appropriately coordinated stimulation and exoskeletal constraints using the sensor-based FSM for subjects with different stimulation systems. The average range of motion at hip and knee joints during walking were 8.5°-20.8° and 14.0°-43.6°, respectively. Walking speeds varied from 0.03 to 0.06 m/s, and cadences from 10 to 20 steps/min. A self-contained muscle

  1. New Exoskeleton Arm Concept Design And Actuation For Haptic Interaction With Virtual Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakarov, D.; Veneva, I.; Tsveov, M.; Tiankov, T.

    2014-12-01

    In the work presented in this paper the conceptual design and actuation of one new exoskeleton of the upper limb is presented. The device is designed for application where both motion tracking and force feedback are required, such as human interaction with virtual environment or rehabilitation tasks. The choice is presented of mechanical structure kinematical equivalent to the structure of the human arm. An actuation system is selected based on braided pneumatic muscle actuators. Antagonistic drive system for each joint is shown, using pulley and cable transmissions. Force/displacement diagrams are presented of two antagonistic acting muscles. Kinematics and dynamic estimations are performed of the system exoskeleton and upper limb. Selected parameters ensure in the antagonistic scheme joint torque regulation and human arm range of motion.

  2. System Characterization of MAHI EXO-II: A Robotic Exoskeleton for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, James A; Rose, Chad G; O'Malley, Marcia K

    2014-10-01

    This paper presents the performance characterization of the MAHI Exo-II, an upper extremity exoskeleton for stroke and spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation, as a means to validate its clinical implementation and to provide depth to the literature on the performance characteristics of upper extremity exoskeletons. Individuals with disabilities arising from stroke and SCI need rehabilitation of the elbow, forearm, and wrist to restore the ability to independently perform activities of daily living (ADL). Robotic rehabilitation has been proposed to address the need for high intensity, long duration therapy and has shown promising results for upper limb proximal joints. However, upper limb distal joints have historically not benefitted from the same focus. The MAHI Exo-II, designed to address this shortcoming, has undergone a static and dynamic performance characterization, which shows that it exhibits the requisite qualities for a rehabilitation robot and is comparable to other state-of-the-art designs.

  3. Hysteresis compensation technique applied to polymer optical fiber curvature sensor for lower limb exoskeletons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes Leal-Junior, Arnaldo; Frizera-Neto, Anselmo; José Pontes, Maria; Rodrigues Botelho, Thomaz

    2017-12-01

    Polymer optical fiber (POF) curvature sensors present some advantages over conventional techniques for angle measurements, such as their light weight, compactness and immunity to electromagnetic fields. However, high hysteresis can occur in POF curvature sensors due to the polymer viscoelastic response. In order to overcome this limitation, this paper shows how the hysteresis sensor can be compensated by a calibration equation relating the measured output signal to the sensor’s angular velocity. The proposed method is validated using an exoskeleton with an active joint on the knee for flexion and extension rehabilitation exercises. The results show a decrease in sensor hysteresis and a decrease by more than two times in the error between the POF sensor and the potentiometer, which is employed for the angle measurement of the exoskeleton knee joint.

  4. Unidirectional variable stiffness hydraulic actuator for load-carrying knee exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Zhu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the design and experimental testing of a unidirectional variable stiffness hydraulic actuator for load-carrying knee exoskeleton. The proposed actuator is designed for mimicking the high-efficiency passive behavior of biological knee and providing actively assistance in locomotion. The adjustable passive compliance of exoskeletal knee is achieved through a variable ratio lever mechanism with linear elastic element. A compact customized electrohydraulic system is also designed to accommodate application demands. Preliminary experimental results show the prototype has good performances in terms of stiffness regulation and joint torque control. The actuator is also implemented in an exoskeleton knee joint, resulting in anticipant human-like passive compliance behavior.

  5. A generalized framework to achieve coordinated admittance control for multi-joint lower limb robotic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gui, Kai; Liu, Honghai; Zhang, Dingguo

    2017-07-01

    Traditional joint space admittance controller for N-DOF robotic systems is complexity and easily leads to incongruous movement among all joints. Our study introduces a central pattern generator (CPG) network into one-dimension joint space admittance control for the custom-made lower limb robotic exoskeleton with four DOFs, to guarantee the coordinated movement and security of users. The predefined trajectories for four joints are produced by CPG. Unilateral knee joint torque of subjects is detected based on corresponding muscle EMG signals. The torque is transformed into an additional set of state variables for CPG based on the one-dimension admittance controller. CPG harmonically adjusts the predefined trajectories by the additional state variables. Finally, the robotic exoskeleton completes the predefined trajectories with a classical PID controller.

  6. A Force-Feedback Exoskeleton for Upper-Limb Rehabilitation in Virtual Reality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Frisoli

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the design and the clinical validation of an upper-limb force-feedback exoskeleton, the L-EXOS, for robotic-assisted rehabilitation in virtual reality (VR. The L-EXOS is a five degrees of freedom exoskeleton with a wearable structure and anthropomorphic workspace that can cover the full range of motion of human arm. A specific VR application focused on the reaching task was developed and evaluated on a group of eight post-stroke patients, to assess the efficacy of the system for the rehabilitation of upper limb. The evaluation showed a significant reduction of the performance error in the reaching task (paired t-test, p < 0.02

  7. Design and fabrication of a three dimensional printable non-assembly articulated hand exoskeleton for rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei Cui; Phan, Anthony; Allison, Garry

    2015-08-01

    Robotic rehabilitation has proven to be cost-effective in accelerating the rehabilitation process by eliminating the constant need for supervision by a therapist. This work aimed to design and develop a novel three-dimensional (3D) printable non-assembly five-fingered robotic hand exoskeleton for rehabilitation. A single degree-of-freedom (DOF) linkage was designed to actuate each finger with 3 output links that correspond to the three phalanxes of the human finger. We used a parametric modelling approach that suits the dimensions of individual's hand. The fabrication of this dynamic model was achieved by printing the complete assembly including all the driving links, output links, and joints. We manufactured a prototype and developed real-time actuation and control. The reported unique linkage design, combined with parametric modelling and 3D printing technology, will pave the way for mass customization of active assistive and resistive hand exoskeletons.

  8. Variable-stiffness joints with embedded force sensor for high-performance wearable gait exoskeletons

    OpenAIRE

    Cestari Soto, Manuel

    2017-01-01

    The growing field of exoskeletons and wearable devices for walking assistance and rehabilitation has advanced considerably over the past few years. The current use of commercial devices is in-hospital rehabilitation of spinal cord injured, nevertheless the purpose of this technology is challenging: to provide gait assistance in daily life activities to the broadest segment of neurological disorders affecting walking and balance. A number of difficulties make this goal a challenge, but to name...

  9. Design and Control of a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Robot-Assisted Gait Training

    OpenAIRE

    Pieter Beyl; Michaël Van Damme; Ronald Van Ham; Bram Vanderborght; Dirk Lefeber

    2009-01-01

    Robot-assisted rehabilitation of gait still faces many challenges, one of which is improving physical human-robot interaction. The use of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles to power a step rehabilitation robot has the potential to meet this challenge. This paper reports on the development of a gait rehabilitation exoskeleton with a knee joint powered by pleated pneumatic artificial muscles. It is intended as a platform for the evaluation of design and control concepts in view of improved ph...

  10. Design and Development of a Hand Exoskeleton Robot for Active and Passive Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Sandoval-Gonzalez

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The present work, which describes the mechatronic design and development of a novel rehabilitation robotic exoskeleton hand, aims to present a solution for neuromusculoskeletal rehabilitation. It presents a full range of motion for all hand phalanges and was specifically designed to carry out position and force-position control for passive and active rehabilitation routines. System integration and preliminary clinical tests are also presented.

  11. Exoskeleton anchoring to tendon cells and muscles in molting isopod crustaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nada Žnidaršič

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Specialized mechanical connection between exoskeleton and underlying muscles in arthropods is a complex network of interconnected matrix constituents, junctions and associated cytoskeletal elements, which provides prominent mechanical attachment of the epidermis to the cuticle and transmits muscle tensions to the exoskeleton. This linkage involves anchoring of the complex extracellular matrix composing the cuticle to the apical membrane of tendon cells and linking of tendon cells to muscles basally. The ultrastructural arhitecture of these attachment complexes during molting is an important issue in relation to integument integrity maintenance in the course of cuticle replacement and in relation to movement ability. The aim of this work was to determine the ultrastructural organization of exoskeleton – muscles attachment complexes in the molting terrestrial isopod crustaceans, in the stage when integumental epithelium is covered by both, the newly forming cuticle and the old detached cuticle. We show that the old exoskeleton is extensively mechanically connected to the underlying epithelium in the regions of muscle attachment sites by massive arrays of fibers in adult premolt Ligia italica and in prehatching embryos and premolt marsupial mancas of Porcellio scaber. Fibers expand from the tendon cells, traverse the new cuticle and ecdysal space and protrude into the distal layers of the detached cuticle. They likely serve as final anchoring sites before exuviation and may be involved in animal movements in this stage. Tendon cells in the prehatching embryo and in marsupial mancas display a substantial apicobasally oriented transcellular arrays of microtubules, evidently engaged in myotendinous junctions and in apical anchoring of the cuticular matrix. The structural framework of musculoskeletal linkage is basically established in described intramarsupial developmental stages, suggesting its involvement in animal motility within the marsupium.

  12. An investigation into environment dependent nanomechanical properties of shallow water shrimp (Pandalus platyceros) exoskeleton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verma, Devendra; Tomar, Vikas, E-mail: tomar@purdue.edu

    2014-11-01

    The present investigation focuses on understanding the influence of change from wet to dry environment on nanomechanical properties of shallow water shrimp exoskeleton. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) based measurements suggest that the shrimp exoskeleton has Bouligand structure, a key characteristic of the crustaceans. As expected, wet samples are found to be softer than dry samples. Reduced modulus values of dry samples are found to be 24.90 ± 1.14 GPa as compared to the corresponding values of 3.79 ± 0.69 GPa in the case of wet samples. Hardness values are found to be 0.86 ± 0.06 GPa in the case of dry samples as compared to the corresponding values of 0.17 ± 0.02 GPa in the case of wet samples. In order to simulate the influence of underwater pressure on the exoskeleton strength, constant load creep experiments as a function of wet and dry environments are performed. The switch in deformation mechanism as a function of environment is explained based on the role played by water molecules in assisting interface slip and increased ductility of matrix material in wet environment in comparison to the dry environment. - Highlights: • Environment dependent (dry-wet) properties of shrimp exoskeleton are analyzed. • Mechanical properties are correlated with the structure and composition. • Presence of water leads to lower reduced modulus and hardness. • SEM images shows the Bouligand pattern based structure. • Creep-relaxation of polymer chains, interface slip is high in presence of water.

  13. Risk management and regulations for lower limb medical exoskeletons: a review

    OpenAIRE

    He, Yongtian; Eguren, David; Luu, Trieu Phat; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L

    2017-01-01

    Yongtian He, David Eguren, Trieu Phat Luu, Jose L Contreras-Vidal Laboratory for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA Abstract: Gait disability is a major health care problem worldwide. Powered exoskeletons have recently emerged as devices that can enable users with gait disabilities to ambulate in an upright posture, and potentially bring other clinical benefits. In 2014, the US Food a...

  14. ROBOT-ASSISTED SURGERY AND ROBOTS EXOSKELETONS FOR REHABILITATION: WORLD TECHNOLOGICAL LEADERS AND PERSPECTIVES OF RUSSIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. V. Cherchenko

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available There was analysed the publication and patent activity with regard to two actively developing areas in the field of medical robototronics: robots-exoskeletons for rehabilitation of people with muscoloskeletal disorders and robot-assisted surgery. There was identified discrepancy in the structure of global and national publication and patent flows. There were revealed disadvantages of foreign innovations on robot-assisted surgery, which create prerequisites for promoting import-substituting innovations of domestic engineers. 

  15. Training Persons with Spinal Cord Injury to Ambulate Using a Powered Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asselin, Pierre K.; Avedissian, Manuel; Knezevic, Steven; Kornfeld, Stephen; Spungen, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    Powered exoskeletons have become available for overground ambulation in persons with paralyses due to spinal cord injury (SCI) who have intact upper extremity function and are able to maintain upright balance using forearm crutches. To ambulate in an exoskeleton, the user must acquire the ability to maintain balance while standing, sitting and appropriate weight shifting with each step. This can be a challenging task for those with deficits in sensation and proprioception in their lower extremities. This manuscript describes screening criteria and a training program developed at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY to teach users the skills needed to utilize these devices in institutional, home or community environments. Before training can begin, potential users are screened for appropriate range of motion of the hip, knee and ankle joints. Persons with SCI are at an increased risk of sustaining lower extremity fractures, even with minimal strain or trauma, therefore a bone mineral density assessment is performed to reduce the risk of fracture. Also, as part of screening, a physical examination is performed in order to identify additional health-related contraindications. Once the person has successfully passed all screening requirements, they are cleared to begin the training program. The device is properly adjusted to fit the user. A series of static and dynamic balance tasks are taught and performed by the user before learning to walk. The person is taught to ambulate in various environments ranging from indoor level surfaces to outdoors over uneven or changing surfaces. Once skilled enough to be a candidate for home use with the exoskeleton, the user is then required to designate a companion-walker who will train alongside them. Together, the pair must demonstrate the ability to perform various advanced tasks in order to be permitted to use the exoskeleton in their home/community environment. PMID:27340808

  16. The H2 robotic exoskeleton for gait rehabilitation after stroke: early findings from a clinical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortole, Magdo; Venkatakrishnan, Anusha; Zhu, Fangshi; Moreno, Juan C; Francisco, Gerard E; Pons, Jose L; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L

    2015-06-17

    Stroke significantly affects thousands of individuals annually, leading to considerable physical impairment and functional disability. Gait is one of the most important activities of daily living affected in stroke survivors. Recent technological developments in powered robotics exoskeletons can create powerful adjunctive tools for rehabilitation and potentially accelerate functional recovery. Here, we present the development and evaluation of a novel lower limb robotic exoskeleton, namely H2 (Technaid S.L., Spain), for gait rehabilitation in stroke survivors. H2 has six actuated joints and is designed to allow intensive overground gait training. An assistive gait control algorithm was developed to create a force field along a desired trajectory, only applying torque when patients deviate from the prescribed movement pattern. The device was evaluated in 3 hemiparetic stroke patients across 4 weeks of training per individual (approximately 12 sessions). The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Houston. The main objective of this initial pre-clinical study was to evaluate the safety and usability of the exoskeleton. A Likert scale was used to measure patient's perception about the easy of use of the device. Three stroke patients completed the study. The training was well tolerated and no adverse events occurred. Early findings demonstrate that H2 appears to be safe and easy to use in the participants of this study. The overground training environment employed as a means to enhance active patient engagement proved to be challenging and exciting for patients. These results are promising and encourage future rehabilitation training with a larger cohort of patients. The developed exoskeleton enables longitudinal overground training of walking in hemiparetic patients after stroke. The system is robust and safe when applied to assist a stroke patient performing an overground walking task. Such device opens the opportunity to study means

  17. Individual muscle control using an exoskeleton robot for muscle function testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Jun; Ming, Ding; Krishnamoorthy, Vijaya; Shinohara, Minoru; Ogasawara, Tsukasa

    2010-08-01

    Healthy individuals modulate muscle activation patterns according to their intended movement and external environment. Persons with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury), however, have problems in movement control due primarily to their inability to modulate their muscle activation pattern in an appropriate manner. A functionality test at the level of individual muscles that investigates the activity of a muscle of interest on various motor tasks may enable muscle-level force grading. To date there is no extant work that focuses on the application of exoskeleton robots to induce specific muscle activation in a systematic manner. This paper proposes a new method, named "individual muscle-force control" using a wearable robot (an exoskeleton robot, or a power-assisting device) to obtain a wider variety of muscle activity data than standard motor tasks, e.g., pushing a handle by hand. A computational algorithm systematically computes control commands to a wearable robot so that a desired muscle activation pattern for target muscle forces is induced. It also computes an adequate amount and direction of a force that a subject needs to exert against a handle by his/her hand. This individual muscle control method enables users (e.g., therapists) to efficiently conduct neuromuscular function tests on target muscles by arbitrarily inducing muscle activation patterns. This paper presents a basic concept, mathematical formulation, and solution of the individual muscle-force control and its implementation to a muscle control system with an exoskeleton-type robot for upper extremity. Simulation and experimental results in healthy individuals justify the use of an exoskeleton robot for future muscle function testing in terms of the variety of muscle activity data.

  18. Single degree-of-freedom exoskeleton mechanism design for finger rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Wolbrecht, Eric T.; Reinkensmeyer, David J.; Perez-Gracia, Alba

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the kinematic design of a single degree-of-freedom exoskeleton mechanism: a planar eight-bar mechanism for finger curling. The mechanism is part of a fingerthumb robotic device for hand therapy that will allow users to practice key pinch grip and finger-thumb opposition, allowing discrete control inputs for playing notes on a musical gaming interface. This approach uses the mechanism to generate the desired grasping trajectory rather than actuating the...

  19. Online sparse Gaussian process based human motion intent learning for an electrically actuated lower extremity exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yi; Du, Zhi-Jiang; Chen, Chao-Feng; Dong, Wei; Wang, Wei-Dong

    2017-07-01

    The most important step for lower extremity exoskeleton is to infer human motion intent (HMI), which contributes to achieve human exoskeleton collaboration. Since the user is in the control loop, the relationship between human robot interaction (HRI) information and HMI is nonlinear and complicated, which is difficult to be modeled by using mathematical approaches. The nonlinear approximation can be learned by using machine learning approaches. Gaussian Process (GP) regression is suitable for high-dimensional and small-sample nonlinear regression problems. GP regression is restrictive for large data sets due to its computation complexity. In this paper, an online sparse GP algorithm is constructed to learn the HMI. The original training dataset is collected when the user wears the exoskeleton system with friction compensation to perform unconstrained movement as far as possible. The dataset has two kinds of data, i.e., (1) physical HRI, which is collected by torque sensors placed at the interaction cuffs for the active joints, i.e., knee joints; (2) joint angular position, which is measured by optical position sensors. To reduce the computation complexity of GP, grey relational analysis (GRA) is utilized to specify the original dataset and provide the final training dataset. Those hyper-parameters are optimized offline by maximizing marginal likelihood and will be applied into online GP regression algorithm. The HMI, i.e., angular position of human joints, will be regarded as the reference trajectory for the mechanical legs. To verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, experiments are performed on a subject at a natural speed. The experimental results show the HMI can be obtained in real time, which can be extended and employed in the similar exoskeleton systems.

  20. Human-robot interaction: kinematics and muscle activity inside a powered compliant knee exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knaepen, Kristel; Beyl, Pieter; Duerinck, Saartje; Hagman, Friso; Lefeber, Dirk; Meeusen, Romain

    2014-11-01

    Until today it is not entirely clear how humans interact with automated gait rehabilitation devices and how we can, based on that interaction, maximize the effectiveness of these exoskeletons. The goal of this study was to gain knowledge on the human-robot interaction, in terms of kinematics and muscle activity, between a healthy human motor system and a powered knee exoskeleton (i.e., KNEXO). Therefore, temporal and spatial gait parameters, human joint kinematics, exoskeleton kinetics and muscle activity during four different walking trials in 10 healthy male subjects were studied. Healthy subjects can walk with KNEXO in patient-in-charge mode with some slight constraints in kinematics and muscle activity primarily due to inertia of the device. Yet, during robot-in-charge walking the muscular constraints are reversed by adding positive power to the leg swing, compensating in part this inertia. Next to that, KNEXO accurately records and replays the right knee kinematics meaning that subject-specific trajectories can be implemented as a target trajectory during assisted walking. No significant differences in the human response to the interaction with KNEXO in low and high compliant assistance could be pointed out. This is in contradiction with our hypothesis that muscle activity would decrease with increasing assistance. It seems that the differences between the parameter settings of low and high compliant control might not be sufficient to observe clear effects in healthy subjects. Moreover, we should take into account that KNEXO is a unilateral, 1 degree-of-freedom device.

  1. Bilateral, Misalignment-Compensating, Full-DOF Hip Exoskeleton: Design and Kinematic Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degelaen, Marc; Lefeber, Nina; Swinnen, Eva; Vanderborght, Bram; Lefeber, Dirk

    2017-01-01

    A shared design goal for most robotic lower limb exoskeletons is to reduce the metabolic cost of locomotion for the user. Despite this, only a limited amount of devices was able to actually reduce user metabolic consumption. Preservation of the natural motion kinematics was defined as an important requirement for a device to be metabolically beneficial. This requires the inclusion of all human degrees of freedom (DOF) in a design, as well as perfect alignment of the rotation axes. As perfect alignment is impossible, compensation for misalignment effects should be provided. A misalignment compensation mechanism for a 3-DOF system is presented in this paper. It is validated by the implementation in a bilateral hip exoskeleton, resulting in a compact and lightweight device that can be donned fast and autonomously, with a minimum of required adaptations. Extensive testing of the prototype has shown that hip range of motion of the user is maintained while wearing the device and this for all three hip DOFs. This allowed the users to maintain their natural motion patterns when they are walking with the novel hip exoskeleton. PMID:28790799

  2. Bilateral, Misalignment-Compensating, Full-DOF Hip Exoskeleton: Design and Kinematic Validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Junius

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A shared design goal for most robotic lower limb exoskeletons is to reduce the metabolic cost of locomotion for the user. Despite this, only a limited amount of devices was able to actually reduce user metabolic consumption. Preservation of the natural motion kinematics was defined as an important requirement for a device to be metabolically beneficial. This requires the inclusion of all human degrees of freedom (DOF in a design, as well as perfect alignment of the rotation axes. As perfect alignment is impossible, compensation for misalignment effects should be provided. A misalignment compensation mechanism for a 3-DOF system is presented in this paper. It is validated by the implementation in a bilateral hip exoskeleton, resulting in a compact and lightweight device that can be donned fast and autonomously, with a minimum of required adaptations. Extensive testing of the prototype has shown that hip range of motion of the user is maintained while wearing the device and this for all three hip DOFs. This allowed the users to maintain their natural motion patterns when they are walking with the novel hip exoskeleton.

  3. Thermal analysis and structural characterization of chitinous exoskeleton from two marine invertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Juárez-de la Rosa, B.A., E-mail: balej05@yahoo.com.mx [Laboratory of Natural Polymers, CIAD – Coordinación Guaymas, Carretera al Varadero Nacional km. 6.6, Col. Las Playitas, 85480 Guaymas, Sonora (Mexico); Applied Physics Department, CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Mérida, Carretera antigua a Progreso, km. 6. Apdo, Postal 73, Cordemex, 97310 Mérida, Yucatan (Mexico); May-Crespo, J.; Quintana-Owen, P.; Gónzalez-Gómez, W.S. [Applied Physics Department, CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Mérida, Carretera antigua a Progreso, km. 6. Apdo, Postal 73, Cordemex, 97310 Mérida, Yucatan (Mexico); Yañez-Limón, J.M. [Materials and Engineering Science, CINVESTAV-IPN, Unidad Querétaro, Libramiento Norponiente No. 2000, Fracc. Real de Juriquilla, 76230 Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro (Mexico); Alvarado-Gil, J.J., E-mail: jjag@mda.cinvestav.mx [Applied Physics Department, CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Mérida, Carretera antigua a Progreso, km. 6. Apdo, Postal 73, Cordemex, 97310 Mérida, Yucatan (Mexico)

    2015-06-20

    Highlights: • Thermal analysis of exoskeletons: Antipathes caribbeana and Limulus polyphemus. • DMTA revealed Limulus has a stronger structure with a stepper glass transition. • DSC measurements exhibited a much larger water holding capacity in Antipathes. • X-ray diffraction analysis shows a higher crystallinity index in Limulus • FTIR showed α-chitin structures and high temperature C–N groups prevalence. - ABSTRACT: Thermomechanical and structural properties of two marine species exoskeletons, Antipathes caribbeana (black coral) and Limulus polyphemus (xiphosure), were studied using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). DMTA curves indicate the viscoelastic behavior and glass transition around 255 °C, black coral presented a second transition (175 °C) associated to the acetamide group attached to the α-chitin chain. DSC measurements showed a endothermic peak around 100 °C, with enthalpies of 4.02 and 118.04 J/g, indicating strong differences between exoskeletons respect to their water holding capacity and strength water–polymer interaction. A comparative analysis involving DSC and X-ray diffraction showed that lower values ΔH in xiphosure correspond to a material with a higher crystallinity (30), in contrast black coral exhibits higher values ΔH and a lower crystallinity (19). FTIR confirmed α-chitin based structure, at higher temperature diminishes the amide bands and a new one appears, related to C–N groups.

  4. Biomechanical Reactions of Exoskeleton Neurorehabilitation Robots in Spastic Elbows and Wrists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Hyung Seok; Koh, Sukgyu; Kim, Yoon Jae; Beom, Jaewon; Lee, Woo Hyung; Lee, Shi-Uk; Kim, Sungwan

    2017-11-01

    Spasticity is an important factor in designing wearable and lightweight exoskeleton neurorehabilitation robots. The proposed study evaluates biomechanical reactions of an exoskeleton robot to spasticity and establishes relevant guidelines for robot design. A two-axis exoskeleton robot is used to evaluate a group of 20 patients post-stroke with spastic elbow and/or wrist joints. All subjects are given isokinetic movements at various angular velocities within the capable range of motion for both joints. The resistance torque and corresponding angular position at each joint are recorded continuously. Maximal resistance torques caused by low (modified Ashworth scale (MAS) 0, 1), intermediate (MAS 1+), and high (MAS 2 and 3) grade spasticity were 3.68 ± 2.42, 5.94 ± 2.55, and 8.25 ± 3.35 Nm for the elbow flexor ( , between each grades) and 4.23 ± 1.75, 5.68 ± 1.96, and 5.44 ± 2.02 Nm for the wrist flexor ( , for low versus intermediate, low versus high grade spasticity). The angular velocity did not significantly influence maximal resistance torque in either joint. The catch occurred more quickly at higher velocities for low and intermediate elbow flexor spasticity ( ). Spasticity caused considerable resistance to the robots during mechanically actuated movements. The resistance range according to the degree of spasticity should be considered when designing practical neurorehabilitation robots.

  5. Upper-Limb Robotic Exoskeletons for Neurorehabilitation: A Review on Control Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proietti, Tommaso; Crocher, Vincent; Roby-Brami, Agnes; Jarrasse, Nathanael

    2016-01-01

    Since the late 1990s, there has been a burst of research on robotic devices for poststroke rehabilitation. Robot-mediated therapy produced improvements on recovery of motor capacity; however, so far, the use of robots has not shown qualitative benefit over classical therapist-led training sessions, performed on the same quantity of movements. Multidegree-of-freedom robots, like the modern upper-limb exoskeletons, enable a distributed interaction on the whole assisted limb and can exploit a large amount of sensory feedback data, potentially providing new capabilities within standard rehabilitation sessions. Surprisingly, most publications in the field of exoskeletons focused only on mechatronic design of the devices, while little details were given to the control aspects. On the contrary, we believe a paramount aspect for robots potentiality lies on the control side. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a taxonomy of currently available control strategies for exoskeletons for neurorehabilitation, in order to formulate appropriate questions toward the development of innovative and improved control strategies.

  6. Isolation of proteolytic bacteria from mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) exoskeletons to produce chitinous material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Fernanda Kerche Paes; Brück, Dieter W; Brück, Wolfram M

    2017-09-15

    The use of insects as a source of protein is becoming an important factor for feeding an increasing population. After protein extraction for food use, the insect exoskeleton may offer the possibility for the production of added value products. Here, the aim was to isolate bacteria from the surface of farmed mealworms (Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus, 1758) for the production of chitinous material from insect exoskeletons using microbial fermentation. Isolates were screened for proteases and acid production that may aid deproteination and demineralisation of insects through fermentation to produce chitin. Selected isolates were used single-step (isolated bacteria only) or two-step fermentations with Lactobacillus plantarum (DSM 20174). Two-step fermentations with isolates from mealworm exoskeletons resulted in a demineralisation of 97.9 and 98.5% from deproteinated mealworm fractions. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier- transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that crude chitin was produced. However, further optimisation is needed before the process can be upscaled. This is, to our knowledge, the first report using microbial fermentation for the extraction of chitin from insects. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Lower extremity robotic exoskeleton training: Case studies for complete spinal cord injury walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaire, Edward D; Smith, Andrew J; Herbert-Copley, Andrew; Sreenivasan, Vidya

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in exoskeleton technology has made lower extremity powered exoskeletons (LEPE) a viable treatment tool to restore upright walking mobility to persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). Evaluate ARKE exoskeleton training within a rehabilitation centre environment. Case studies are presented for two male participants, age 41 and 30, motor complete SCI at T6 (N01) and T12 (N02), respectively, as they progress from new LEPE users to independent walking. The ARKE 2.0 LEPE (Bionik Laboratories Inc., Toronto, Canada) was used for all training (hip and knee powered, forearm crutches, control tablet). Data were collected on session times, activity metrics from ARKE system logs, and qualitative questionnaire feedback. N01 required 18, 30-minute training sessions to achieve independent walking. N01 walked independently within the 12 session target. Foot strikes were frequently before the end of the programmed swing phase, which were handled by the ARKE control system. Subjective ratings of LEPE learning, comfort, pain, fatigue, and overall experience were high for sitting-standing and moderate to high for walking. This reflected the complexity of learning to safely walk. Qualitative feedback supported the continuation of LEPE use in rehabilitation settings based on end-user desire for upright mobility.

  8. Muscular activity and physical interaction forces during lower limb exoskeleton use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Matthew; Rathore, Ashish; Morgado Ramirez, Dafne Zuleima; Loureiro, Rui C V; Carlson, Tom

    2016-12-01

    Spinal cord injury (SCI) typically manifests with a loss of sensorimotor control of the lower limbs. In order to overcome some of the disadvantages of chronic wheelchair use by such patients, robotic exoskeletons are an emerging technology that has the potential to transform the lives of patients. However, there are a number of points of contact between the robot and the user, which lead to interaction forces. In a recent study, the authors have shown that peak interaction forces are particularly prominent at the anterior aspect of the right leg. This study uses a similar experimental protocol with additional electromyography (EMG) analysis to examine whether such interaction forces are due to the muscular activity of the participant or the movement of the exoskeleton itself. Interestingly, the authors found that peak forces preceded peak EMG activity. This study did not find a significant correlation between EMG activity and force data, which would indicate that the interaction forces can largely be attributed to the movement of the exoskeleton itself. However, we also report significantly higher correlation coefficients in muscle/force pairs located at the anterior aspect of the right leg. In their previous research, the authors have shown peak interaction forces at the same locations, which suggests that muscular activity of the participant makes a more significant contribution to the interaction forces at these locations. The findings of this study are of significance for incomplete SCI patients, for whom EMG activity may provide an important input to an intuitive control schema.

  9. Design of human controlled 1 DOF right hand exoskeleton using electromyography signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzam, M.; Wijaya, S. K.; Prawito

    2017-07-01

    Exoskeleton in general is a structure that is anatomically designed to be able to accommodate the physical movement of its user and provide additional strength. The use of EMG signal to control a 1 DOF right arm exoskeleton is evaluated in this research. This research aims to achieve optimum control using EMG signal. EMG signal is a variation of voltage that occurs when muscle contracts hence its strong correlation with the user's intention of movement. The RMS values of each EMG signal that originates from bicep and tricep muscle are calculated and processed to determine the direction and speed of rotation of a DC motor that actuates the exoskeleton. The RMS calculation is conducted at various array length that will theoretically affect its accuracy. The difference between those two RMS values is then calculated and interpreted as the intention of flexion or extension movement that will control the DC motor rotational direction. The absolute value of the RMS difference multiplied with a gain factor is used to regulate the duty cycle of a PWM signal that is used to control the rotational speed of the DC motor. To achieve the smallest settling time, array length and gain factor were varied. The test was conducted in two stages, static and dynamic tests. The test result shows a trend where the settling time decreases when array length is shortened and gain is increased. It shows that optimum control can be achieved by selecting the right array length and gain.

  10. [Rehabilitation of post stroke patients using a bioengineering system "brain-computer interface + exoskeleton"].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotov, S V; Turbina, L G; Bobrov, P D; Frolov, A A; Pavlova, O G; Kurganskaia, M E; Biriukova, E V

    2014-01-01

    Objective. To investigate the possibility of using a bioengineering system, which includes an electroencephalograph and a personal computer with a software for synchronous data transmission, recognition and classification of EEG signals, development of directions for intended actions in real time in the combination with the hand exoskeleton (the bioengineering system "brain-computer interface + exoskeleton"), in motor rehabilitation of post stroke patients with paresis of the upper extremity. Material and methods. Brain-computer interface is a promising field of neurorehabilitation. Rehabilitation treatment, including 8-10 sessions, was conducted in 5 patients with paresis of the upper extremity. All patients had large MRI lesions in cortical/subcortical areas. Results. Positive changes in neurological status measured with the NIHSS, a significant increase in the volume and power of movements in the paretic hand, improvement of coordination and slight decrease in the level of spasticity were found after the treatment. There was an increase in daily activities measured with the Barthel index, mostly due to the improvement of fine motor skills. The level of disability assessed by the modified Rankin scale was changed significantly. Conclusion. The use of "brain-computer interface + exoskeleton" in the rehabilitation of post stroke patients with hand paresis provided positive results that would need to be verified in further studies.

  11. A study on cortico-muscular coupling in finger motions for exoskeleton assisted neuro-rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chwodhury, Anirban; Raza, Haider; Dutta, Ashish; Nishad, Shyam Sunder; Saxena, Anupam; Prasad, Girijesh

    2015-08-01

    In this paper our objective is to analyze the cortico-muscular coupling for hand finger motion and its possible use in the control of an exoskeleton based neurorehabilitation system for stroke sufferers. Cortical activity alone is often not sufficient to reliably control a device such as an exoskeleton and hence, our focus is to ascertain and analyze the connectivity between the motor cortex and forearm muscles, controlling the fingers, in terms of coherence between electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) signals. We have analyzed the signals separately for three different kinds of exercises consisting of passive motion of fingers using exoskeleton, active motion without any assistance, and motor imagery of the same movements. Four out of six healthy subjects who participated in the experiments have shown significant (pexoskeleton, 71.25% for active finger motion, and 67.92% for motor imagery, in detecting the volitional intention of the subjects to move their fingers. These results support that EEG-EMG coherence along with EEG analysis has the potential to make a more effective neurorehabilitation system for finger movement restoration of stroke sufferers.

  12. Design, simulation and modelling of auxiliary exoskeleton to improve human gait cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkani, O; Maleki, A; Jamshidi, N

    2017-03-01

    Exoskeleton is a walking assistance device that improves human gait cycle through providing auxiliary force and transferring physical load to the stronger muscles. This device takes the natural state of organ and follows its natural movement. Exoskeleton functions as an auxiliary device to help those with disabilities in hip and knee such as devotees, elderly farmers and agricultural machinery operators who suffer from knee complications. In this research, an exoskeleton designed with two screw jacks at knee and hip joints. To simulate extension and flexion movements of the leg joints, bearings were used at the end of hip and knee joints. The generated torque and motion angles of these joints obtained as well as the displacement curves of screw jacks in the gait cycle. Then, the human gait cycle was simulated in stance and swing phases and the obtained torque curves were compared. The results indicated that they followed the natural circle of the generated torque in joints with a little difference from each other. The maximum displacement obtained 4 and 6 cm in hip and knee joints jack respectively. The maximum torques in hip and knee joints were generated in foot contact phase. Also the minimum torques in hip and knee joints were generated in toe off and heel off phases respectively.

  13. Development and Control of a Robotic Exoskeleton for Shoulder, Elbow and Forearm Movement Assistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Habibur Rahman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available World health organization reports, annually more than 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke and cardiovascular disease, among which 85% of stroke patients incur acute arm impairment, and 40% of victims are chronically impaired or permanently disabled. This results a burden on the families, communities and to the country as well. Rehabilitation programs are the main way to promote functional recovery in these individuals. Since the number of such cases is constantly growing and that the duration of treatment is long, an intelligent robot could significantly contribute to the success of these programs. We therefore developed a new 5DoFs robotic exoskeleton named MARSE-5 (motion assistive robotic-exoskeleton for superior extremity that supposed to be worn on the lateral side of upper arm to rehabilitate and ease the shoulder, elbow and forearm movements. This paper focused on the design, modeling, development and control of the proposed MARSE-5. To control the exoskeleton, a nonlinear sliding mode control (SMC technique was employed. In experiments, trajectory tracking that corresponds to typical passive rehabilitation exercises was carried out. Experimental results reveal that the controller is able to maneuver the MARSE-5 efficiently to track the desired trajectories.

  14. Clinical effects of using HEXORR (Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot) for movement therapy in stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godfrey, Sasha Blue; Holley, Rahsaan J; Lum, Peter S

    2013-11-01

    The goals of this pilot study were to quantify the clinical benefits of using the Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot for hand rehabilitation after stroke and to determine the population best served by this intervention. Nine subjects with chronic stroke (one excluded from analysis) completed 18 sessions of training with the Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot and a preevaluation, a postevaluation, and a 90-day clinical evaluation. Overall, the subjects improved in both range of motion and clinical measures. Compared with the preevaluation, the subjects showed significant improvements in range of motion, grip strength, and the hand component of the Fugl-Meyer (mean changes, 6.60 degrees, 8.84 percentage points, and 1.86 points, respectively). A subgroup of six subjects exhibited lower tone and received a higher dosage of training. These subjects had significant gains in grip strength, the hand component of the Fugl-Meyer, and the Action Research Arm Test (mean changes, 8.42 percentage points, 2.17 points, and 2.33 points, respectively). Future work is needed to better manage higher levels of hypertonia and provide more support to subjects with higher impairment levels; however, the current results support further study into the Hand Exoskeleton Rehabilitation Robot treatment.

  15. Quantitative evaluation of hand functions using a wearable hand exoskeleton system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Suin; Lee, Jeongsoo; Park, Wookeun; Bae, Joonbum

    2017-07-01

    To investigate, improve, and observe the effect of rehabilitation therapy, many studies have been conducted on evaluating the motor function quantitatively by developing various types of robotic systems. Even though the robotic systems have been developed, functional evaluation of the hand has been rarely investigated, because it is difficult to install a number of actuators or sensors to the hand due to limited space around the fingers. Therefore, in this study, a hand exoskeleton was developed to satisfy the required specifications for evaluating the hand functions including spasticity of finger flexors, finger independence, and multi-digit synergy and algorithms to evaluate such functions were proposed. The hand exoskeleton was composed with the four 4-bar linkages, two motors, and three loadcells for each finger, and it was able to flex/extend the metacarpal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal(PIP) joints independently while measuring the pulling force at each phalanx. Using the hand exoskeleton, the hand functions of the three healthy subject were evaluated and the experimental results were analyzed.

  16. Feasibility of an Exoskeleton-Based Interactive Video Game System for Upper Extremity Burn Contractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jeffrey C; Ozsecen, Muzaffer Y; Muraoka, Nicholas K; Mancinelli, Chiara; Della Croce, Ugo; Ryan, Colleen M; Bonato, Paolo

    2016-05-01

    Burn contractures are common and difficult to treat. Measuring continuous joint motion would inform the assessment of contracture interventions; however, it is not standard clinical practice. This study examines use of an interactive gaming system to measure continuous joint motion data. To assess the usability of an exoskeleton-based interactive gaming system in the rehabilitation of upper extremity burn contractures. Feasibility study. Eight subjects with a history of burn injury and upper extremity contractures were recruited from the outpatient clinic of a regional inpatient rehabilitation facility. Subjects used an exoskeleton-based interactive gaming system to play 4 different video games. Continuous joint motion data were collected at the shoulder and elbow during game play. Visual analog scale for engagement, difficulty and comfort. Angular range of motion by subject, joint, and game. The study population had an age of 43 ± 16 (mean ± standard deviation) years and total body surface area burned range of 10%-90%. Subjects reported satisfactory levels of enjoyment, comfort, and difficulty. Continuous joint motion data demonstrated variable characteristics by subject, plane of motion, and game. This study demonstrates the feasibility of use of an exoskeleton-based interactive gaming system in the burn population. Future studies are needed that examine the efficacy of tailoring interactive video games to the specific joint impairments of burn survivors. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Analysis of relative displacement between the HX wearable robotic exoskeleton and the user's hand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cempini, Marco; Marzegan, Alberto; Rabuffetti, Marco; Cortese, Mario; Vitiello, Nicola; Ferrarin, Maurizio

    2014-10-18

    Advances in technology are allowing for the production of several viable wearable robotic devices to assist with activities of daily living and with rehabilitation. One of the most pressing limitations to user satisfaction is the lack of consistency in motion between the user and the robotic device. The displacement between the robot and the body segment may not correspond because of differences in skin and tissue compliance, mechanical backlash, and/or incorrect fit. This report presents the results of an analysis of relative displacement between the user's hand and a wearable exoskeleton, the HX. HX has been designed to maximize comfort, wearability and user safety, exploiting chains with multiple degrees-of-freedom with a modular architecture. These appealing features may introduce several uncertainties in the kinematic performances, especially when considering the anthropometry, morphology and degree of mobility of the human hand. The small relative displacements between the hand and the exoskeleton were measured with a video-based motion capture system, while the user executed several different grips in different exoskeleton modes. The analysis furnished quantitative results about the device performance, differentiated among device modules and test conditions. In general, the global relative displacement for the distal part of the device was in the range 0.5-1.5 mm, while within 3 mm (worse but still acceptable) for displacements nearest to the hand dorsum. Conclusions over the HX design principles have been drawn, as well as guidelines for future developments.

  18. A brain-controlled lower-limb exoskeleton for human gait training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dong; Chen, Weihai; Pei, Zhongcai; Wang, Jianhua

    2017-10-01

    Brain-computer interfaces have been a novel approach to translate human intentions into movement commands in robotic systems. This paper describes an electroencephalogram-based brain-controlled lower-limb exoskeleton for gait training, as a proof of concept towards rehabilitation with human-in-the-loop. Instead of using conventional single electroencephalography correlates, e.g., evoked P300 or spontaneous motor imagery, we propose a novel framework integrated two asynchronous signal modalities, i.e., sensorimotor rhythms (SMRs) and movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs). We executed experiments in a biologically inspired and customized lower-limb exoskeleton where subjects (N = 6) actively controlled the robot using their brain signals. Each subject performed three consecutive sessions composed of offline training, online visual feedback testing, and online robot-control recordings. Post hoc evaluations were conducted including mental workload assessment, feature analysis, and statistics test. An average robot-control accuracy of 80.16% ± 5.44% was obtained with the SMR-based method, while estimation using the MRCP-based method yielded an average performance of 68.62% ± 8.55%. The experimental results showed the feasibility of the proposed framework with all subjects successfully controlled the exoskeleton. The current paradigm could be further extended to paraplegic patients in clinical trials.

  19. Heart rate and oxygen demand of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asselin, Pierre; Knezevic, Steven; Kornfeld, Stephen; Cirnigliaro, Christopher; Agranova-Breyter, Irina; Bauman, William A; Spungen, Ann M

    2015-01-01

    Historically, persons with paralysis have limited options for overground ambulation. Recently, powered exoskeletons have become available, which are systems that translate the user's body movements to activate motors to move the lower limbs through a predetermined gait pattern. As part of an ongoing clinical study (NCT01454570), eight nonambulatory persons with paraplegia were trained to ambulate with a powered exoskeleton. Measurements of oxygen uptake (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded for 6 min each during each maneuver while sitting, standing, and walking. The average value of VO2 during walking (11.2 +/- 1.7 mL/kg/min) was significantly higher than those for sitting and standing (3.5 +/- 0.4 and 4.3 +/- 0.9 mL/kg/min, respectively; p paraplegia were able to ambulate efficiently using the powered exoskeleton for overground ambulation, providing potential for functional gain and improved fitness. ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01454570; "The ReWalk Exoskeletal Walking System for Persons with Paraplegia (VA_ReWalk)"; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01454570.

  20. Short-term locomotor adaptation to a robotic ankle exoskeleton does not alter soleus Hoffmann reflex amplitude

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferris Daniel P

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To improve design of robotic lower limb exoskeletons for gait rehabilitation, it is critical to identify neural mechanisms that govern locomotor adaptation to robotic assistance. Previously, we demonstrated soleus muscle recruitment decreased by ~35% when walking with a pneumatically-powered ankle exoskeleton providing plantar flexor torque under soleus proportional myoelectric control. Since a substantial portion of soleus activation during walking results from the stretch reflex, increased reflex inhibition is one potential mechanism for reducing soleus recruitment when walking with exoskeleton assistance. This is clinically relevant because many neurologically impaired populations have hyperactive stretch reflexes and training to reduce the reflexes could lead to substantial improvements in their motor ability. The purpose of this study was to quantify soleus Hoffmann (H- reflex responses during powered versus unpowered walking. Methods We tested soleus H-reflex responses in neurologically intact subjects (n=8 that had trained walking with the soleus controlled robotic ankle exoskeleton. Soleus H-reflex was tested at the mid and late stance while subjects walked with the exoskeleton on the treadmill at 1.25 m/s, first without power (first unpowered, then with power (powered, and finally without power again (second unpowered. We also collected joint kinematics and electromyography. Results When the robotic plantar flexor torque was provided, subjects walked with lower soleus electromyographic (EMG activation (27-48% and had concomitant reductions in H-reflex amplitude (12-24% compared to the first unpowered condition. The H-reflex amplitude in proportion to the background soleus EMG during powered walking was not significantly different from the two unpowered conditions. Conclusion These findings suggest that the nervous system does not inhibit the soleus H-reflex in response to short-term adaption to exoskeleton assistance

  1. Acute Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses During Exoskeleton-Assisted Walking Overground Among Persons with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Nicholas; Hartigan, Clare; Kandilakis, Casey; Pharo, Elizabeth; Clesson, Ismari

    2015-01-01

    Lower extremity robotic exoskeleton technology is being developed with the promise of affording people with spinal cord injury (SCI) the opportunity to stand and walk. The mobility benefits of exoskeleton-assisted walking can be realized immediately, however the cardiorespiratory and metabolic benefits of this technology have not been thoroughly investigated. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the acute cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses associated with exoskeleton-assisted walking overground and to determine the degree to which these responses change at differing walking speeds. Five subjects (4 male, 1 female) with chronic SCI (AIS A) volunteered for the study. Expired gases were collected during maximal graded exercise testing and two, 6-minute bouts of exoskeleton-assisted walking overground. Outcome measures included peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak), average oxygen consumption (V̇O2avg), peak heart rate (HRpeak), walking economy, metabolic equivalent of tasks for SCI (METssci), walk speed, and walk distance. Significant differences were observed between walk-1 and walk-2 for walk speed, total walk distance, V̇O2avg, and METssci. Exoskeleton-assisted walking resulted in %V̇O2peak range of 51.5% to 63.2%. The metabolic cost of exoskeleton-assisted walking ranged from 3.5 to 4.3 METssci. Persons with motor-complete SCI may be limited in their capacity to perform physical exercise to the extent needed to improve health and fitness. Based on preliminary data, cardiorespiratory and metabolic demands of exoskeleton-assisted walking are consistent with activities performed at a moderate intensity.

  2. A survey of stakeholder perspectives on a proposed combined exoskeleton-wheelchair technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Tim; Ben Mortensen, W; Mattie, Johanne; Wolff, Jamie; Parker, Claire; Borisoff, Jaimie

    2017-07-01

    Exoskeleton technology has potential benefits for wheelchair users' health and mobility. However, there are practical barriers to their everyday use as a mobility device. In particular, challenges related to travelling longer distances and transitioning between using a wheelchair and exoskeleton walking may present significant deterrents to regular exoskeleton use. In an effort to remove these barriers, a combined exoskeleton-wheelchair concept ('COMBO') has been proposed, which aims to achieve the benefits of both these mobility technologies. Given the inherent importance of including user-stakeholder opinions when designing an assistive technology solution, a study was undertaken to explore the perspectives of wheelchair users and healthcare professionals on the proposed conceptual design of the COMBO. An online survey with quantitative and qualitative components was conducted with wheelchair users and healthcare professionals working directly with individuals with mobility impairments. Respondents rated whether they would use or recommend a COMBO for four potential reasons. Nine design features were rated and compared in terms of their importance. Content analysis was used to analyze data from an open-ended question regarding additional perceptions about using or recommending a COMBO. A total of 481 survey responses were analyzed, 354 from wheelchair users and 127 from healthcare professionals. Potential health benefits was the most highly rated reason for potential use or recommendation of a COMBO. Of the 9 design features, 2 had a median rating of very important: inclusion of a fall-protection mechanism, and the ability for the operator to use their hands while standing. Qualitative findings indicated that health and physical benefits, use for daily life activities, and psychosocial benefits were important considerations in whether to use or recommend the COMBO. This study captures the opinions and perspectives of two stakeholder groups for an exoskeleton

  3. Genes involved in thoracic exoskeleton formation during the pupal-to-adult molt in a social insect model, Apis mellifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Michelle Prioli Miranda; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Simões, Ana Carolina Quirino; Dos Santos Cristino, Alexandre; de Paula Freitas, Flávia Cristina; Canhos, Luísa Lange; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2013-08-28

    The insect exoskeleton provides shape, waterproofing, and locomotion via attached somatic muscles. The exoskeleton is renewed during molting, a process regulated by ecdysteroid hormones. The holometabolous pupa transforms into an adult during the imaginal molt, when the epidermis synthe3sizes the definitive exoskeleton that then differentiates progressively. An important issue in insect development concerns how the exoskeletal regions are constructed to provide their morphological, physiological and mechanical functions. We used whole-genome oligonucleotide microarrays to screen for genes involved in exoskeletal formation in the honeybee thoracic dorsum. Our analysis included three sampling times during the pupal-to-adult molt, i.e., before, during and after the ecdysteroid-induced apolysis that triggers synthesis of the adult exoskeleton. Gene ontology annotation based on orthologous relationships with Drosophila melanogaster genes placed the honeybee differentially expressed genes (DEGs) into distinct categories of Biological Process and Molecular Function, depending on developmental time, revealing the functional elements required for adult exoskeleton formation. Of the 1,253 unique DEGs, 547 were upregulated in the thoracic dorsum after apolysis, suggesting induction by the ecdysteroid pulse. The upregulated gene set included 20 of the 47 cuticular protein (CP) genes that were previously identified in the honeybee genome, and three novel putative CP genes that do not belong to a known CP family. In situ hybridization showed that two of the novel genes were abundantly expressed in the epidermis during adult exoskeleton formation, strongly implicating them as genuine CP genes. Conserved sequence motifs identified the CP genes as members of the CPR, Tweedle, Apidermin, CPF, CPLCP1 and Analogous-to-Peritrophins families. Furthermore, 28 of the 36 muscle-related DEGs were upregulated during the de novo formation of striated fibers attached to the exoskeleton. A

  4. Volition-adaptive control for gait training using wearable exoskeleton: preliminary tests with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajasekaran, Vijaykumar; López-Larraz, Eduardo; Trincado-Alonso, Fernando; Aranda, Joan; Montesano, Luis; Del-Ama, Antonio J; Pons, Jose L

    2018-01-03

    Gait training for individuals with neurological disorders is challenging in providing the suitable assistance and more adaptive behaviour towards user needs. The user specific adaptation can be defined based on the user interaction with the orthosis and by monitoring the user intentions. In this paper, an adaptive control model, commanded by the user intention, is evaluated using a lower limb exoskeleton with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals (SCI). A user intention based adaptive control model has been developed and evaluated with 4 incomplete SCI individuals across 3 sessions of training per individual. The adaptive control model modifies the joint impedance properties of the exoskeleton as a function of the human-orthosis interaction torques and the joint trajectory evolution along the gait sequence, in real time. The volitional input of the user is identified by monitoring the neural signals, pertaining to the user's motor activity. These volitional inputs are used as a trigger to initiate the gait movement, allowing the user to control the initialization of the exoskeleton movement, independently. A Finite-state machine based control model is used in this set-up which helps in combining the volitional orders with the gait adaptation. The exoskeleton demonstrated an adaptive assistance depending on the patients' performance without guiding them to follow an imposed trajectory. The exoskeleton initiated the trajectory based on the user intention command received from the brain machine interface, demonstrating it as a reliable trigger. The exoskeleton maintained the equilibrium by providing suitable assistance throughout the experiments. A progressive change in the maximum flexion of the knee joint was observed at the end of each session which shows improvement in the patient performance. Results of the adaptive impedance were evaluated by comparing with the application of a constant impedance value. Participants reported that the movement of the

  5. Weight Bearing Over-ground Stepping in an Exoskeleton with Non-invasive Spinal Cord Neuromodulation after Motor Complete Paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gad, Parag; Gerasimenko, Yury; Zdunowski, Sharon; Turner, Amanda; Sayenko, Dimitry; Lu, Daniel C; Edgerton, V Reggie

    2017-01-01

    We asked whether coordinated voluntary movement of the lower limbs could be regained in an individual having been completely paralyzed (>4 year) and completely absent of vision (>15 year) using two novel strategies-transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation at selected sites over the spine as well as pharmacological neuromodulation by buspirone. We also asked whether these neuromodulatory strategies could facilitate stepping assisted by an exoskeleton (EKSO, EKSO Bionics, CA) that is designed so that the subject can voluntarily complement the work being performed by the exoskeleton. We found that spinal cord stimulation and drug enhanced the level of effort that the subject could generate while stepping in the exoskeleton. In addition, stimulation improved the coordination patterns of the lower limb muscles resulting in a more continuous, smooth stepping motion in the exoskeleton along with changes in autonomic functions including cardiovascular and thermoregulation. Based on these data from this case study it appears that there is considerable potential for positive synergistic effects after complete paralysis by combining the over-ground step training in an exoskeleton, combined with transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation either without or with pharmacological modulation.

  6. Iron 'ElectriRx' man: Overground stepping in an exoskeleton combined with noninvasive spinal cord stimulation after paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gad, Parag N; Gerasimenko, Yury P; Zdunowski, Sharon; Sayenko, Dimitry; Haakana, Piia; Turner, Amanda; Lu, Daniel; Roy, Roland R; Edgerton, V Reggie

    2015-08-01

    We asked whether coordinated voluntary movement of the lower limbs could be regained in an individual having been completely paralyzed (>4 yr) and completely absent of vision (>15 yr) using a novel strategy - transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation at selected sites over the spinal vertebrae with just one week of training. We also asked whether this stimulation strategy could facilitate stepping assisted by an exoskeleton (EKSO, EKSO Bionics) that is designed so that the subject can voluntarily complement the work being performed by the exoskeleton. We found that spinal cord stimulation enhanced the level of effort that the subject could generate while stepping in the exoskeleton. In addition, stimulation improved the coordination patterns of the lower limb muscles resulting in a more continuous, smooth stepping motion in the exoskeleton. These stepping sessions in the presence of stimulation were accompanied by greater cardiac responses and sweating than could be attained without the stimulation. Based on the data from this case study it appears that there is considerable potential for positive synergistic effects after complete paralysis by combining the overground stepping in an exoskeleton, a novel transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation paradigm, and daily training.

  7. Weight Bearing Over-ground Stepping in an Exoskeleton with Non-invasive Spinal Cord Neuromodulation after Motor Complete Paraplegia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parag Gad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We asked whether coordinated voluntary movement of the lower limbs could be regained in an individual having been completely paralyzed (>4 year and completely absent of vision (>15 year using two novel strategies—transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation at selected sites over the spine as well as pharmacological neuromodulation by buspirone. We also asked whether these neuromodulatory strategies could facilitate stepping assisted by an exoskeleton (EKSO, EKSO Bionics, CA that is designed so that the subject can voluntarily complement the work being performed by the exoskeleton. We found that spinal cord stimulation and drug enhanced the level of effort that the subject could generate while stepping in the exoskeleton. In addition, stimulation improved the coordination patterns of the lower limb muscles resulting in a more continuous, smooth stepping motion in the exoskeleton along with changes in autonomic functions including cardiovascular and thermoregulation. Based on these data from this case study it appears that there is considerable potential for positive synergistic effects after complete paralysis by combining the over-ground step training in an exoskeleton, combined with transcutaneous electrical spinal cord stimulation either without or with pharmacological modulation.

  8. A Brain-Machine Interface Based on ERD/ERS for an Upper-Limb Exoskeleton Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhichuan; Sun, Shouqian; Zhang, Sanyuan; Chen, Yumiao; Li, Chao; Chen, Shi

    2016-12-02

    To recognize the user's motion intention, brain-machine interfaces (BMI) usually decode movements from cortical activity to control exoskeletons and neuroprostheses for daily activities. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether self-induced variations of the electroencephalogram (EEG) can be useful as control signals for an upper-limb exoskeleton developed by us. A BMI based on event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) is proposed. In the decoder-training phase, we investigate the offline classification performance of left versus right hand and left hand versus both feet by using motor execution (ME) or motor imagery (MI). The results indicate that the accuracies of ME sessions are higher than those of MI sessions, and left hand versus both feet paradigm achieves a better classification performance, which would be used in the online-control phase. In the online-control phase, the trained decoder is tested in two scenarios (wearing or without wearing the exoskeleton). The MI and ME sessions wearing the exoskeleton achieve mean classification accuracy of 84.29% ± 2.11% and 87.37% ± 3.06%, respectively. The present study demonstrates that the proposed BMI is effective to control the upper-limb exoskeleton, and provides a practical method by non-invasive EEG signal associated with human natural behavior for clinical applications.

  9. Brief biomechanical analysis on the walking of spinal cord injury patients with a lower limb exoskeleton robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Jun-Young; Park, Hyunsub; Yang, Hyun-Dae; Chae, Mingi

    2013-06-01

    This paper presents a brief biomechanical analysis on the walking behavior of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. It is known that SCI patients who have serious injuries to their spines cannot walk, and hence, several walking assistance lower limb exoskeleton robots have been proposed whose assistance abilities are shown to be well customized. However, these robots are not yet fully helpful to all SCI patients for several reasons. To overcome these problems, an exact analysis and evaluation of the restored walking function while the exoskeleton is worn is important. In this work, walking behavior of SCI patients wearing the rehabilitation of brain injuries (ROBIN) lower-limb walking assistant exoskeleton was analyzed in comparison to that of normal unassisted walking. The analysis method and results presented herein can be used by other researchers to improve their robots.

  10. A Robotic Exoskeleton for Treatment of Crouch Gait in Children With Cerebral Palsy: Design and Initial Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Zachary F; Damiano, Diane L; Park, Hyung-Soon; Gravunder, Andrew J; Bulea, Thomas C

    2017-06-01

    Crouch gait, a pathological pattern of walking characterized by excessive knee flexion, is one of the most common gait disorders observed in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Effective treatment of crouch during childhood is critical to maintain mobility into adulthood, yet current interventions do not adequately alleviate crouch in most individuals. Powered exoskeletons provide an untapped opportunity for intervention. The multiple contributors to crouch, including spasticity, contracture, muscle weakness, and poor motor control make design and control of such devices challenging in this population. To our knowledge, no evidence exists regarding the feasibility or efficacy of utilizing motorized assistance to alleviate knee flexion in crouch gait. Here, we present the design of and first results from a powered exoskeleton for extension assistance as a treatment for crouch gait in children with CP. Our exoskeleton, based on the architecture of a knee-ankle-foot orthosis, is lightweight (3.2 kg) and modular. On board sensors enable knee extension assistance to be provided during distinct phases of the gait cycle. We tested our device on one six-year-old male participant with spastic diplegia from CP. Our results show that the powered exoskeleton improved knee extension during stance by 18.1° while total knee range of motion improved 21.0°. Importantly, we observed no significant decrease in knee extensor muscle activity, indicating the user did not rely solely on the exoskeleton to extend the limb. These results establish the initial feasibility of robotic exoskeletons for treatment of crouch and provide impetus for continued investigation of these devices with the aim of deployment for long term gait training in this population.

  11. Vertical ground reaction force-based analysis of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with motor-complete paraplegia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fineberg, Drew B; Asselin, Pierre; Harel, Noam Y; Agranova-Breyter, Irina; Kornfeld, Stephen D; Bauman, William A; Spungen, Ann M

    2013-07-01

    To use vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) to show the magnitude and pattern of mechanical loading in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) during powered exoskeleton-assisted walking. A cross-sectional study was performed to analyze vGRF during powered exoskeleton-assisted walking (ReWalk™: Argo Medical Technologies, Inc, Marlborough, MA, USA) compared with vGRF of able-bodied gait. Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Six persons with thoracic motor-complete SCI (T1-T11 AIS A/B) and three age-, height-, weight- and gender-matched able-bodied volunteers participated. SCI participants were trained to ambulate over ground using a ReWalk™. vGRF was recorded using the F-Scan™ system (TekScan, Boston, MA, USA). Peak stance average (PSA) was computed from vGRF and normalized across all participants by percent body weight. Peak vGRF was determined for heel strike, mid-stance, and toe-off. Relative linear impulse and harmonic analysis provided quantitative support for analysis of powered exoskeletal gait. Participants with motor-complete SCI, ambulating independently with a ReWalk™, demonstrated mechanical loading magnitudes and patterns similar to able-bodied gait. Harmonic analysis of PSA profile by Fourier transform contrasted frequency of stance phase gait components between able-bodied and powered exoskeleton-assisted walking. Powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with motor-complete SCI generated vGRF similar in magnitude and pattern to that of able-bodied walking. This suggests the potential for powered exoskeleton-assisted walking to provide a mechanism for mechanical loading to the lower extremities. vGRF profile can be used to examine both magnitude of loading and gait mechanics of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking among participants of different weight, gait speed, and level of assist.

  12. Vertical ground reaction force-based analysis of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with motor-complete paraplegia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fineberg, Drew B.; Asselin, Pierre; Harel, Noam Y.; Agranova-Breyter, Irina; Kornfeld, Stephen D.; Bauman,, William A.; Spungen, Ann M.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To use vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) to show the magnitude and pattern of mechanical loading in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) during powered exoskeleton-assisted walking. Research design A cross-sectional study was performed to analyze vGRF during powered exoskeleton-assisted walking (ReWalk™: Argo Medical Technologies, Inc, Marlborough, MA, USA) compared with vGRF of able-bodied gait. Setting Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Participants Six persons with thoracic motor-complete SCI (T1–T11 AIS A/B) and three age-, height-, weight- and gender-matched able-bodied volunteers participated. Interventions SCI participants were trained to ambulate over ground using a ReWalk™. vGRF was recorded using the F-Scan™ system (TekScan, Boston, MA, USA). Outcome measures Peak stance average (PSA) was computed from vGRF and normalized across all participants by percent body weight. Peak vGRF was determined for heel strike, mid-stance, and toe-off. Relative linear impulse and harmonic analysis provided quantitative support for analysis of powered exoskeletal gait. Results Participants with motor-complete SCI, ambulating independently with a ReWalk™, demonstrated mechanical loading magnitudes and patterns similar to able-bodied gait. Harmonic analysis of PSA profile by Fourier transform contrasted frequency of stance phase gait components between able-bodied and powered exoskeleton-assisted walking. Conclusion Powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with motor-complete SCI generated vGRF similar in magnitude and pattern to that of able-bodied walking. This suggests the potential for powered exoskeleton-assisted walking to provide a mechanism for mechanical loading to the lower extremities. vGRF profile can be used to examine both magnitude of loading and gait mechanics of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking among participants of different weight, gait speed, and level of assist. PMID:23820147

  13. An integrated neuro-robotic interface for stroke rehabilitation using the NASA X1 powered lower limb exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yongtian; Nathan, Kevin; Venkatakrishnan, Anusha; Rovekamp, Roger; Beck, Christopher; Ozdemir, Recep; Francisco, Gerard E; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L

    2014-01-01

    Stroke remains a leading cause of disability, limiting independent ambulation in survivors, and consequently affecting quality of life (QOL). Recent technological advances in neural interfacing with robotic rehabilitation devices are promising in the context of gait rehabilitation. Here, the X1, NASA's powered robotic lower limb exoskeleton, is introduced as a potential diagnostic, assistive, and therapeutic tool for stroke rehabilitation. Additionally, the feasibility of decoding lower limb joint kinematics and kinetics during walking with the X1 from scalp electroencephalographic (EEG) signals--the first step towards the development of a brain-machine interface (BMI) system to the X1 exoskeleton--is demonstrated.

  14. Kinematics and design of a portable and wearable exoskeleton for hand rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cempini, Marco; De Rossi, Stefano Marco Maria; Lenzi, Tommaso; Cortese, Mario; Giovacchini, Francesco; Vitiello, Nicola; Carrozza, Maria Chiara

    2013-06-01

    We present the kinematic design and actuation mechanics of a wearable exoskeleton for hand rehabilitation of post-stroke. Our design method is focused on achieving maximum safety, comfort and reliability in the interaction, and allowing different users to wear the device with no manual regulations. In particular, we propose a kinematic and actuation solution for the index finger flexion/extension, which leaves full movement freedom on the abduction-adduction plane. This paper presents a detailed kineto-static analysis of the system and a first prototype of the device.

  15. Phase-II Clinical Validation of a Powered Exoskeleton for the Treatment of Elbow Spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crea, Simona; Cempini, Marco; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Carrozza, Maria Chiara; Posteraro, Federico; Vitiello, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Spasticity is a typical motor disorder in patients affected by stroke. Typically post-stroke rehabilitation consists of repetition of mobilization exercises on impaired limbs, aimed to reduce muscle hypertonia and mitigate spastic reflexes. It is currently strongly debated if the treatment's effectiveness improves with the timeliness of its adoption; in particular, starting intensive rehabilitation as close as possible to the stroke event may counteract the growth and postpone the onset of spasticity. In this paper we present a phase-II clinical validation of a robotic exoskeleton in treating subacute post-stroke patients. Methods: Seventeen post-stroke patients participated in 10 daily rehabilitation sessions using the NEUROExos Elbow Module exoskeleton, each one lasting 45 min: the exercises consisted of isokinetic passive mobilization of the elbow, with torque threshold to detect excessive user's resistance to the movement. We investigated the safety by reporting possible adverse events, such as mechanical, electrical or software failures of the device or injuries or pain experienced by the patient. As regards the efficacy, the Modified Ashworth Scale, was identified as primary outcome measure and the NEEM metrics describing elbow joint resistance to passive extension (i.e., maximum extension torque and zero-torque angle) as secondary outcomes. Results: During the entire duration of the treatments no failures or adverse events for the patients were reported. No statistically significant differences were found in the Modified Ashworth Scale scores, between pre-treatment and post-treatment and between post-treatment and follow-up sessions, indicating the absence of spasticity increase throughout (14 days) and after (3-4 months follow-up) the treatment. Exoskeleton metrics confirmed the absence of significant difference in between pre- and post-treatment data, whereas intra-session data highlighted significant differences in the secondary outcomes

  16. Phase-II Clinical Validation of a Powered Exoskeleton for the Treatment of Elbow Spasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Crea

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Spasticity is a typical motor disorder in patients affected by stroke. Typically post-stroke rehabilitation consists of repetition of mobilization exercises on impaired limbs, aimed to reduce muscle hypertonia and mitigate spastic reflexes. It is currently strongly debated if the treatment's effectiveness improves with the timeliness of its adoption; in particular, starting intensive rehabilitation as close as possible to the stroke event may counteract the growth and postpone the onset of spasticity. In this paper we present a phase-II clinical validation of a robotic exoskeleton in treating subacute post-stroke patients.Methods: Seventeen post-stroke patients participated in 10 daily rehabilitation sessions using the NEUROExos Elbow Module exoskeleton, each one lasting 45 min: the exercises consisted of isokinetic passive mobilization of the elbow, with torque threshold to detect excessive user's resistance to the movement. We investigated the safety by reporting possible adverse events, such as mechanical, electrical or software failures of the device or injuries or pain experienced by the patient. As regards the efficacy, the Modified Ashworth Scale, was identified as primary outcome measure and the NEEM metrics describing elbow joint resistance to passive extension (i.e., maximum extension torque and zero-torque angle as secondary outcomes.Results: During the entire duration of the treatments no failures or adverse events for the patients were reported. No statistically significant differences were found in the Modified Ashworth Scale scores, between pre-treatment and post-treatment and between post-treatment and follow-up sessions, indicating the absence of spasticity increase throughout (14 days and after (3–4 months follow-up the treatment. Exoskeleton metrics confirmed the absence of significant difference in between pre- and post-treatment data, whereas intra-session data highlighted significant differences in the

  17. Learning Cooperative Primitives with Physical Human Robot Interaction for a Human Powered Lower Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    motion trajectory can only be updated after one full gait cycle . This means that when the pilot changes his/her gait pattern, he/she has to endure high...interaction forces from lower exoskeletons during the same gait cycle . The interaction force will be reduced only after one full gait cycle . This is...updated every K gait cycles . The update rule is given in Tab. I with equations (12) to (16). Mti,k = H−1Gti,kG T ti,k GTti,kH −1Gti,k (12) Si,k = N−1

  18. Phase-II Clinical Validation of a Powered Exoskeleton for the Treatment of Elbow Spasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crea, Simona; Cempini, Marco; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Carrozza, Maria Chiara; Posteraro, Federico; Vitiello, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Spasticity is a typical motor disorder in patients affected by stroke. Typically post-stroke rehabilitation consists of repetition of mobilization exercises on impaired limbs, aimed to reduce muscle hypertonia and mitigate spastic reflexes. It is currently strongly debated if the treatment's effectiveness improves with the timeliness of its adoption; in particular, starting intensive rehabilitation as close as possible to the stroke event may counteract the growth and postpone the onset of spasticity. In this paper we present a phase-II clinical validation of a robotic exoskeleton in treating subacute post-stroke patients. Methods: Seventeen post-stroke patients participated in 10 daily rehabilitation sessions using the NEUROExos Elbow Module exoskeleton, each one lasting 45 min: the exercises consisted of isokinetic passive mobilization of the elbow, with torque threshold to detect excessive user's resistance to the movement. We investigated the safety by reporting possible adverse events, such as mechanical, electrical or software failures of the device or injuries or pain experienced by the patient. As regards the efficacy, the Modified Ashworth Scale, was identified as primary outcome measure and the NEEM metrics describing elbow joint resistance to passive extension (i.e., maximum extension torque and zero-torque angle) as secondary outcomes. Results: During the entire duration of the treatments no failures or adverse events for the patients were reported. No statistically significant differences were found in the Modified Ashworth Scale scores, between pre-treatment and post-treatment and between post-treatment and follow-up sessions, indicating the absence of spasticity increase throughout (14 days) and after (3–4 months follow-up) the treatment. Exoskeleton metrics confirmed the absence of significant difference in between pre- and post-treatment data, whereas intra-session data highlighted significant differences in the secondary outcomes

  19. An investigation into mechanical strength of exoskeleton of hydrothermal vent shrimp (Rimicaris exoculata) and shallow water shrimp (Pandalus platyceros) at elevated temperatures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verma, Devendra; Tomar, Vikas, E-mail: tomar@purdue.edu

    2015-04-01

    This investigation reports a comparison of the exoskeleton mechanical strength of deep sea shrimp species Rimicaris exoculata and shallow water shrimp species Pandalus platyceros at temperatures ranging from 25 °C to 80 °C using nanoindentation experiments. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observations suggest that both shrimp exoskeletons have the Bouligand structure. Differences in the structural arrangement and chemical composition of both shrimps are highlighted by SEM and EDX (Energy Dispersive X-ray) analyses. The variation in the elastic moduli with temperature is found to be correlated with the measured compositional differences. The reduced modulus of R. exoculata is 8.26 ± 0.89 GPa at 25 °C that reduces to 7.61 ± 0.65 GPa at 80 °C. The corresponding decrease in the reduced modulus of P. platyceros is from 27.38 ± 2.3 GPa at 25 °C to 24.58 ± 1.71 GPa at 80 °C. The decrease in reduced moduli as a function of temperature is found to be dependent on the extent of calcium based minerals in exoskeleton of both types of shrimp exoskeletons. - Highlights: • Shrimp species Pandalus platyceros and Rimicaris exoculata exoskeletons are analyzed. • Temperature dependent properties of shrimp exoskeleton are compared. • Mechanical properties are correlated with structure and composition of exoskeleton. • Mechanical properties reduce with increase in temperature. • Presence of biominerals gives better thermal stability to structure.

  20. Clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injury: systematic review with meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Larry E; Zimmermann, Angela K; Herbert, William G

    2016-01-01

    Powered exoskeletons are designed to safely facilitate ambulation in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). We conducted the first meta-analysis of the available published research on the clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeletons in SCI patients. MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for studies of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with SCI. Main outcomes were analyzed using fixed and random effects meta-analysis models. A total of 14 studies (eight ReWalk™, three Ekso™, two Indego(®), and one unspecified exoskeleton) representing 111 patients were included in the analysis. Training programs were typically conducted three times per week, 60-120 minutes per session, for 1-24 weeks. Ten studies utilized flat indoor surfaces for training and four studies incorporated complex training, including walking outdoors, navigating obstacles, climbing and descending stairs, and performing activities of daily living. Following the exoskeleton training program, 76% of patients were able to ambulate with no physical assistance. The weighted mean distance for the 6-minute walk test was 98 m. The physiologic demand of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking was 3.3 metabolic equivalents and rating of perceived exertion was 10 on the Borg 6-20 scale, comparable to self-reported exertion of an able-bodied person walking at 3 miles per hour. Improvements in spasticity and bowel movement regularity were reported in 38% and 61% of patients, respectively. No serious adverse events occurred. The incidence of fall at any time during training was 4.4%, all occurring while tethered using a first-generation exoskeleton and none resulting in injury. The incidence of bone fracture during training was 3.4%. These risks have since been mitigated with newer generation exoskeletons and refinements to patient eligibility criteria. Powered exoskeletons allow patients with SCI to safely ambulate in real-world settings at a physical activity intensity conducive to

  1. A Method to Accurately Estimate the Muscular Torques of Human Wearing Exoskeletons by Torque Sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Beomsoo; Jeon, Doyoung

    2015-01-01

    In exoskeletal robots, the quantification of the user’s muscular effort is important to recognize the user’s motion intentions and evaluate motor abilities. In this paper, we attempt to estimate users’ muscular efforts accurately using joint torque sensor which contains the measurements of dynamic effect of human body such as the inertial, Coriolis, and gravitational torques as well as torque by active muscular effort. It is important to extract the dynamic effects of the user’s limb accurately from the measured torque. The user’s limb dynamics are formulated and a convenient method of identifying user-specific parameters is suggested for estimating the user’s muscular torque in robotic exoskeletons. Experiments were carried out on a wheelchair-integrated lower limb exoskeleton, EXOwheel, which was equipped with torque sensors in the hip and knee joints. The proposed methods were evaluated by 10 healthy participants during body weight-supported gait training. The experimental results show that the torque sensors are to estimate the muscular torque accurately in cases of relaxed and activated muscle conditions. PMID:25860074

  2. A Method to Accurately Estimate the Muscular Torques of Human Wearing Exoskeletons by Torque Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beomsoo Hwang

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In exoskeletal robots, the quantification of the user’s muscular effort is important to recognize the user’s motion intentions and evaluate motor abilities. In this paper, we attempt to estimate users’ muscular efforts accurately using joint torque sensor which contains the measurements of dynamic effect of human body such as the inertial, Coriolis, and gravitational torques as well as torque by active muscular effort. It is important to extract the dynamic effects of the user’s limb accurately from the measured torque. The user’s limb dynamics are formulated and a convenient method of identifying user-specific parameters is suggested for estimating the user’s muscular torque in robotic exoskeletons. Experiments were carried out on a wheelchair-integrated lower limb exoskeleton, EXOwheel, which was equipped with torque sensors in the hip and knee joints. The proposed methods were evaluated by 10 healthy participants during body weight-supported gait training. The experimental results show that the torque sensors are to estimate the muscular torque accurately in cases of relaxed and activated muscle conditions.

  3. A Pre-Clinical Framework for Neural Control of a Therapeutic Upper-Limb Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Amy; O’Malley, Marcia K.; Francisco, Gerard E.; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we summarize a novel approach to robotic rehabilitation that capitalizes on the benefits of patient intent and real-time assessment of impairment. Specifically, an upper-limb, physical human-robot interface (the MAHI EXO-II robotic exoskeleton) is augmented with a non-invasive brain-machine interface (BMI) to include the patient in the control loop, thereby making the therapy ‘active’ and engaging patients across a broad spectrum of impairment severity in the rehabilitation tasks. Robotic measures of motor impairment are derived from real-time sensor data from the MAHI EXO-II and the BMI. These measures can be validated through correlation with widely used clinical measures and used to drive patient-specific therapy sessions adapted to the capabilities of the individual, with the MAHI EXO-II providing assistance or challenging the participant as appropriate to maximize rehabilitation outcomes. This approach to robotic rehabilitation takes a step towards the seamless integration of BMIs and intelligent exoskeletons to create systems that can monitor and interface with brain activity and movement. Such systems will enable more focused study of various issues in development of devices and rehabilitation strategies, including interpretation of measurement data from a variety of sources, exploration of hypotheses regarding large scale brain function during robotic rehabilitation, and optimization of device design and training programs for restoring upper limb function after stroke. PMID:24887296

  4. Real-Time Control of an Exoskeleton Hand Robot with Myoelectric Pattern Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhiyuan; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Xu; Tong, Kay-Yu; Zhou, Ping

    2017-08-01

    Robot-assisted training provides an effective approach to neurological injury rehabilitation. To meet the challenge of hand rehabilitation after neurological injuries, this study presents an advanced myoelectric pattern recognition scheme for real-time intention-driven control of a hand exoskeleton. The developed scheme detects and recognizes user's intention of six different hand motions using four channels of surface electromyography (EMG) signals acquired from the forearm and hand muscles, and then drives the exoskeleton to assist the user accomplish the intended motion. The system was tested with eight neurologically intact subjects and two individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The overall control accuracy was [Formula: see text] for the neurologically intact subjects and [Formula: see text] for the SCI subjects. The total lag of the system was approximately 250[Formula: see text]ms including data acquisition, transmission and processing. One SCI subject also participated in training sessions in his second and third visits. Both the control accuracy and efficiency tended to improve. These results show great potential for applying the advanced myoelectric pattern recognition control of the wearable robotic hand system toward improving hand function after neurological injuries.

  5. Design and Control of a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Robot-Assisted Gait Training

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pieter Beyl

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Robot-assisted rehabilitation of gait still faces many challenges, one of which is improving physical human-robot interaction. The use of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles to power a step rehabilitation robot has the potential to meet this challenge. This paper reports on the development of a gait rehabilitation exoskeleton with a knee joint powered by pleated pneumatic artificial muscles. It is intended as a platform for the evaluation of design and control concepts in view of improved physical human-robot interaction. The design was focused on the optimal dimensioning of the actuator configuration. Safety being the most important prerequisite, a proxy-based sliding mode controller (PSMC was implemented as it combines accurate tracking during normal operation with a smooth, slow and safe recovery from large position errors. Treadmill walking experiments of a healthy subject wearing the powered exoskeleton show the potential of PSMC as a safe robot-in-charge control strategy for robot-assisted gait training.

  6. Walking with a powered robotic exoskeleton: Subjective experience, spasticity and pain in spinal cord injured persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stampacchia, Giulia; Rustici, Alessandro; Bigazzi, Samuele; Gerini, Adriana; Tombini, Tullia; Mazzoleni, Stefano

    2016-06-27

    Powered robotic exoskeletons represent an emerging technology for the gait training of Spinal Cord Injured (SCI) persons. The analysis of the psychological and physical impact of such technology on the patient is crucial in terms of clinical appropriateness of such rehabilitation intervention for SCI persons. To investigate the acceptability of overground robot-assisted walking and its effect on pain and spasticity. Twenty-one SCI persons participated in a walking session assisted by a powered robotic exoskeleton. Pain assessed using a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and muscle spasticity, assessed as subjective perception using an NRS scale and as objective assessment using the Modified Ashworth scale and the Penn scale, were evaluated before and after the walking experience. Positive and negative sensations were investigated using a questionnaire. The patient's global impression of change (PGIC) scale was administrated as well. After the walking session a significant decrease in the muscle spasticity and pain intensity was observed. The SCI persons recruited in this study reported (i) a global change after the walking session, (ii) high scores on the positive and (iii) low scores on the negative sensations, thus indicating a good acceptability of the robot-assisted walking. The overground robot-assisted walking is well accepted by SCI persons and has positive effects in terms of spasticity and pain reduction.

  7. X1: A Robotic Exoskeleton for In-Space Countermeasures and Dynamometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, Rochelle; Beck, Christopher; Rovekamp, Roger; Diftler, Myron; Neuhaus, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Bone density loss and muscle atrophy are among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) highest concerns for crew health in space. Countless hours are spent maintaining an exercise regimen aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to counteract the effect of zero-gravity. Looking toward the future, NASA researchers are developing new compact and innovative exercise technologies to maintain crew health as missions increase in length and take humans further out into the solar system. The X1 Exoskeleton, initially designed for assisted mobility on Earth, was quickly theorized to have far-reaching potential as both an in-space countermeasures device and a dynamometry device to measure muscle strength. This lower-extremity device has the ability to assist or resist human movement through the use of actuators positioned at the hips and knees. Multiple points of adjustment allow for a wide range of users, all the while maintaining correct joint alignment. This paper discusses how the X1 Exoskeleton may fit NASA's onorbit countermeasures needs.

  8. Fall prevention in the young old using an exoskeleton human body posturizer: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verrusio, W; Gianturco, V; Cacciafesta, M; Marigliano, V; Troisi, G; Ripani, M

    2017-04-01

    Fall risk in elderly has been related with physical decline, low quality of life and reduced survival. To evaluate the impact of exoskeleton human body posturizer (HBP) on the fall risk in the elderly. 150 subjects (mean age 64.85; 79 M/71 F) with mild fall risk were randomized into two groups: 75 for group treated with human body posturizer (HBP group) and 75 for physical training without HBP group (exercise group). The effects of interventions were assessed by differences in tests related to balance and falls. Medically eligible patients were screened with Tinetti balance and Gait evaluation scale, short physical performance battery and numeric pain rating scale to determine fall risk in elderly people. In the HBP group there was a significant improvement in short physical performance battery, Tinetti scale and Pain Numeric rating scale with a significant reduction in fall risk (p exoskeleton human body posturizer seems to be a new significant device for prevention of fall in elderly patients. Further research should be carried out to obtain more evidence on effects of robotic technology for fall prevention in the elderly.

  9. Optimization of stepped-cone CVT for lower-limb exoskeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashish Singla

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Wearable exoskeletons offer interesting possibilities to address the global concerns of the ageing society and hence many researchers and industries are investing significant resources to develop new innovations in the area of physical assistance. An important issue in providing effective physical assistance is how the needed torques can be generated efficiently and effectively. This paper considers this area and explores the use of continuous variable transmissions (CVT for up-grading/downgrading torques so that the torque variations for performing motions of normal daily living can be provided. The knee joint is focused upon to develop the key stages of the CVT based approach in generating motion torques. From our on-going research to developing assistive exoskeletons for support activities of daily living it has been found that 6.3–20.6 Nm torque is required to provide 10–20% assistance at the knee joint of a healthy elderly person having weight 70–90 kg. The challenge here is to miniaturize conventional CVTs developed for the automobiles where large torques are needed. To achieve the required torque range for supporting human joints in various motions, a CVT is designed and its parameters optimized. Results are validated via a professional optimization software.

  10. ADAPTIVE BUILDING EXOSKELETONS: A biomimetic model for the rehabilitation of social housing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliana Scuderi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This research is an attempt to describe a new biomimetic model for the rehabilitation of social housing. In particular, the constructions built in Europe in the post Second World War period suffer of material and social degradation requiring architectural, functional and structural interventions. The analysis of the state of the art underlined the importance of the envelope in the definition of new performances and standards. Through a bio-mimicry approach, the paper shows the process leading to the definition of a building exoskeleton: a structural envelope able to solve complex sets of problems integrating different building systems. Adaptability results being a fundamental property to define an effective seismic and structural behavior but also to respond to changing user’s needs and environmental conditions. In the last part of the paper, information about feasible technologies and techniques to realize the exoskeleton are presented. Finally, the conclusions show the potentiality of the model if applied in critical contexts where intensive and diffusive interventions of recovery of social housing are needed.

  11. Weight compensation characteristics of Armeo®Spring exoskeleton: implications for clinical practice and research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Bonnie E; Evans, Emily K; Stokic, Dobrivoje S

    2017-02-17

    Armeo®Spring exoskeleton is widely used for upper extremity rehabilitation; however, weight compensation provided by the device appears insufficiently characterized to fully utilize it in clinical and research settings. Weight compensation was quantified by measuring static force in the sagittal plane with a load cell attached to the elbow joint of Armeo®Spring. All upper spring settings were examined in 5° increments at the minimum, maximum, and two intermediate upper and lower module length settings, while keeping the lower spring at minimum. The same measurements were made for minimum upper spring setting and maximum lower spring setting at minimum and maximum module lengths. Weight compensation was plotted against upper module angles, and slope was analyzed for each condition. The Armeo®Spring design prompted defining the slack angle and exoskeleton balance angle, which, depending on spring and length settings, divide the operating range into different unloading and loading regions. Higher spring tensions and shorter module lengths provided greater unloading (≤6.32 kg of support). Weight compensation slope decreased faster with shorter length settings (minimum length = -0.082 ± 0.002 kg/°; maximum length = -0.046 ± 0.001 kg/°) independent of spring settings. Understanding the impact of different settings on the Armeo®Spring weight compensation should help define best clinical practice and improve fidelity of research.

  12. Design and characterization of a magneto-rheological series elastic actuator for a lower extremity exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bing; Zhao, Xuan; Ma, Hao; Qin, Ling; Liao, Wei-Hsin

    2017-10-01

    In this paper, an innovative actuator named magneto-rheological series elastic actuator (MRSEA) is designed for the knee joints of a lower extremity exoskeleton CUHK-EXO. MRSEA is designed to reduce the mechanical impedance of the exoskeleton and filter out unwanted collisions. It can also provide large controllable braking torque with low power, and hence improve the system energy efficiency. A description of CUHK-EXO developed to help paraplegic patients regain the mobility to stand up, sit down and walk is firstly introduced, followed by the mechanical design of MRSEA and simulation of the torsion spring pack (TSP) and magneto-rheological (MR) brake of MRSEA. Prototype of MRSEA is fabricated. Preliminary tests are performed to investigate the characteristics of the TSP and MR brake, and walking experiments with a paraplegic patient are performed to evaluate the performance of MRSEA. Experimental results of MRSEA match the modeling and simulation. As compared with the electric motor, the energy efficiency of the innovative MRSEA is improved by 52.8% during a gait cycle.

  13. Development of a wearable exoskeleton rehabilitation system based on hybrid control mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Long

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Lower limb rehabilitation exoskeletons usually help patients walk based on fixed gait trajectories. However, it is not suitable for unilateral lower limb disorders. In this article, a hybrid training mode is proposed to be applied in rehabilitation for unilateral lower limb movement disorders. The hybrid training includes two modes, that is, the passive training mode and the active assist mode. At an early stage of the rehabilitation therapy, the passive training mode is utilized, in which microelectromechanical systems-based attitude and heading reference system is used to collect the gait trajectory of the healthy limb. The exoskeleton on the unhealthy limb will be driven to track the joint trajectory of the healthy limb. If the patient’s abilities recovered, the rehabilitation system can be switched to the active assist mode. Two force sensors are imbedded into the interface on the thigh to measure the interaction information in order to detect the patient’s initiative walking intention. In the active mode, the walking gait trajectory is modified and generated based on the gait trajectory of the healthy side via the attitude and heading reference system. In this article, a position close control loop is designed to drive the mechanical leg to help the unhealthy limb walk. Laboratory experiments are performed on a healthy human subject to illustrate the proposed approach. Experimental results show that the proposed method can be applied and extended in the passive and active rehabilitation mode for the unilateral lower limb disorders.

  14. Fine finger motor skill training with exoskeleton robotic hand in chronic stroke: stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ockenfeld, Corinna; Tong, Raymond K Y; Susanto, Evan A; Ho, Sze-Kit; Hu, Xiao-ling

    2013-06-01

    Background and Purpose. Stroke survivors often show a limited recovery in the hand function to perform delicate motions, such as full hand grasping, finger pinching and individual finger movement. The purpose of this study is to describe the implementation of an exoskeleton robotic hand together with fine finger motor skill training on 2 chronic stroke patients. Case Descriptions. Two post-stroke patients participated in a 20-session training program by integrating 10 minutes physical therapy, 20 minutes robotic hand training and 15 minutes functional training tasks with delicate objects(card, pen and coin). These two patients (A and B) had cerebrovascular accident at 6 months and 11 months respectively when enrolled in this study. Outcomes. The results showed that both patients had improvements in Fugl-Meyer assessment (FM), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT). Patients had better isolation of the individual finger flexion and extension based on the reduced muscle co-contraction from the electromyographic(EMG) signals and finger extension force after 20 sessions of training. Discussion. This preliminary study showed that by focusing on the fine finger motor skills together with the exoskeleton robotic hand, it could improve the motor recovery of the upper extremity in the fingers and hand function, which were showed in the ARAT. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness.

  15. ARMin III – Arm Therapy Exoskeleton with an Ergonomic Shoulder Actuation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Nef

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Rehabilitation robots have become important tools in stroke rehabilitation. Compared to manual arm training, robot-supported training can be more intensive, of longer duration and more repetitive. Therefore, robots have the potential to improve the rehabilitation process in stroke patients. Whereas a majority of previous work in upper limb rehabilitation robotics has focused on end-effector-based robots, a shift towards exoskeleton robots is taking place because they offer a better guidance of the human arm, especially for movements with a large range of motion. However, the implementation of an exoskeleton device introduces the challenge of reproducing the motion of the human shoulder, which is one of the most complex joints of the body. Thus, this paper starts with describing a simplified model of the human shoulder. On the basis of that model, a new ergonomic shoulder actuation principle that provides motion of the humerus head is proposed, and its implementation in the ARMin III arm therapy robot is described. The focus lies on the mechanics and actuation principle. The ARMin III robot provides three actuated degrees of freedom for the shoulder and one for the elbow joint. An additional module provides actuated lower arm pro/supination and wrist flexion/extension. Five ARMin III devices have been manufactured and they are currently undergoing clinical evaluation in hospitals in Switzerland and in the United States.

  16. Studying the implementation of iterative impedance control for assistive hand rehabilitation using an exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martineau, T; Vaidyanathan, R

    2017-07-01

    A positive training synergy can be obtained when two individuals attempt to learn the same motor task while mechanically coupled to one another. In this paper, we have studied how mimicking this interaction through impedance control can be exploited to improve assistance delivered by hand exoskeleton devices during rehabilitation. In this context, the machine and user take complementary roles akin to two coupled individuals. We present the derivation of a dynamic model of the human hand for the purpose of controller development for new hand exoskeleton platforms. Using this model, we have simulated the behavior of an iterative impedance controller programmed for rehabilitative training. The controller interacts with cylindrical objects to be grasped by means of an inverse kinematic mapping and tuning of mechanical impedance characteristic of the finger joints. Through fusion of concepts from motor control theory, muscle impedance and task oriented control, the controller is capable of iteratively learn to accomplish simple tasks involving grasping and lifting while cooperating with a user. The controller is also capable of adapting to more complex dynamics for more dexterous tasks, such as pulling on a hand-bar or loosening the cap of a jar. We believe the human-robot synergy established in this investigation has benefits to therapy. It can be combined with a broad range of training exercises and represents an incremental step towards mimicking natural human motor responses.

  17. [The efficacy of the exoskeleton ExoAtlet to restore walking in patients with multiple sclerosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotov, S V; Lijdvoy, V Yu; Sekirin, A B; Petrushanskaya, K A; Pismennaya, E V

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the efficacy and safety of the exoskeleton ExoAtlet in complex therapy of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A pilot study within the prospective open controlled program was conducted. Eighteen patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in remission and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) with the level of neurological deficit on the EDSS from 3 to 7 points have completed the study. EDSS, MSFC, HADS, MoCA scales were administered and the force measuring insoles F-Scan Tekscan (USA) were used to study the biomechanics of walking. Good tolerability of workload within 30-40 min. was observed. The improvement in the EDSS was detected in 9 patients, in whole, a significant positive trend (pexoskeleton, the walking speed and stability increased, oscillation of the body decreased, support function increased, the phenomenon of cyclical changes of the vertical component of support reactions reduced. The results of the pilot study showed promising future research opportunities for robotic-assisted walking and maintenance of the vertical posture with the help of the exoskeleton ExoAtlet to restore the abilities of movement in MS patients with locomotor disorders.

  18. Using monkey hand exoskeleton to explore finger passive joint movement response in primary motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kai Qian; Dos Anjos, Luiz Antonio; Balasubramanian, Karthikeyan; Stilson, Kelsey; Balcer, Carrie; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G; Kamper, Derek G

    2017-07-01

    While neurons in primary motor cortex (M1) have been shown to respond to sensory stimuli, exploration of this phenomenon has proven challenging. Accurate and repeatable presentation of sensory inputs is difficult. Here, we describe a novel paradigm to study response to joint motion and fingertip force. We employed a custom exoskeleton to drive index finger metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP) of a macaque to follow sinusoid trajectories at 4 different frequencies (0.2, 0.5, 1, 2Hz) and 2 movement ranges (68.4, 34.2 degrees). We highlight results of a specific M1 unit that displayed sensitivity to direction (more active during flexion than extension), frequency (greater firing rate at higher frequencies), and movement amplitude (higher rate at larger amplitude). Joint movement trajectories were accurately reconstructed from this single unit with mean R2 =0.64 ± 0.13. The exoskeleton holds promise for examination of sensory feedback. In addition, it can be used as an external device controlled by a brain-machine interface (BMI) system. The proprioceptive related units in M1 may contribute to improving BMI control performance.

  19. Design and implementation of a training strategy in chronic stroke with an arm robotic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisoli, Antonio; Sotgiu, Edoardo; Procopio, Caterina; Bergamasco, Massimo; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2011-01-01

    The distinguishing features of active exoskeletons are the capability of guiding arm movement at the level of the full kinematic chain of the human arm, and training full 3D spatial movements. We have specifically developed a PD sliding mode control for upper limb rehabilitation with gain scheduling for providing "assistance as needed", according to the force capability of the patient, and an automatic measurement of the impaired arm joint torques, to evaluate the hypertonia associated to the movement during the execution of the training exercise. Two different training tasks in Virtual Reality were devised, that make use of the above control, and allow to make a performance based evaluation of patient's motor status. The PERCRO L-Exos (Light-Exoskeleton) was used to evaluate the proposed algorithms and training exercises in two clinical case studies of patients with chronic stroke, that performed 6 weeks of robotic assisted training. Clinical evaluation (Fugl-Meyer Scale, Modified Ashworth Scale, Bimanual Activity Test) was conducted before and after treatment and compared to the scores and the quantitative indices, such as task time, position/joint error and resistance torques, associated to the training exercises. © 2011 IEEE

  20. Development of hand exoskeleton for rehabilitation of post-stroke patient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaid, Amran Mohd; Chean, Tee Chu; Sukor, Jumadi Abdul; Hanafi, Dirman

    2017-10-01

    Degenerative muscle diseases characterized by loss of strength in human hand significantly affect the physical of affected individuals. A soft assistive exoskeleton glove is designed to help post-stroke patient with their rehabilitation process. The glove uses soft bending actuator which has a rubber like tender characteristic. Due to its rubber like characteristic, flexion of finger can be achieved easily through pneumatic air without considering other hand motions. The application involves a post-stroke patient to wear the soft exoskeleton glove on his paralyzed hand and control the actuation of the glove by using pneumatic air source. The fabrication of the soft bending actuator involves silicone rubber Mold Star® 15 SLOW which falls within the soft category of shore A hardness scale. The soft bending actuator is controlled by Arduino Mega 2560 as main controller board and relay module is used to trigger the 3/2-way single solenoid valve by switching on the 24VDC power supply. The actuation of the soft bending actuator can be manipulated by setting delay ON and OFF for the relay switching. Thus, the repetition of the bending motion can be customized to fulfil the rehabilitation needs of the patient.

  1. Selective control of gait subtasks in robotic gait training : Foot clearance support in stroke survivors with a powered exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, B.; Van Asseldonk, E.H.F.; Van der Kooij, H.

    2013-01-01

    Background Robot-aided gait training is an emerging clinical tool for gait rehabilitation of neurological patients. This paper deals with a novel method of offering gait assistance, using an impedance controlled exoskeleton (LOPES). The provided assistance is based on a recent finding that, in the

  2. Selective control of gait subtasks in robotic gait training: foot clearance support in stroke survivors with a powered exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Bram; van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2013-01-01

    Background Robot-aided gait training is an emerging clinical tool for gait rehabilitation of neurological patients. This paper deals with a novel method of offering gait assistance, using an impedance controlled exoskeleton (LOPES). The provided assistance is based on a recent finding that, in the

  3. Method for Walking Gait Identification in a Lower Extremity Exoskeleton Based on C4.5 Decision Tree Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Guo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A gait identification method for a lower extremity exoskeleton is presented in order to identify the gait sub-phases in human-machine coordinated motion. First, a sensor layout for the exoskeleton is introduced. Taking the difference between human lower limb motion and human-machine coordinated motion into account, the walking gait is divided into five sub-phases, which are ‘double standing’, ‘right leg swing and left leg stance’, ‘double stance with right leg front and left leg back’, ‘right leg stance and left leg swing’, and ‘double stance with left leg front and right leg back’. The sensors include shoe pressure sensors, knee encoders, and thigh and calf gyroscopes, and are used to measure the contact force of the foot, and the knee joint angle and its angular velocity. Then, five sub-phases of walking gait are identified by a C4.5 decision tree algorithm according to the data fusion of the sensors' information. Based on the simulation results for the gait division, identification accuracy can be guaranteed by the proposed algorithm. Through the exoskeleton control experiment, a division of five sub-phases for the human-machine coordinated walk is proposed. The experimental results verify this gait division and identification method. They can make hydraulic cylinders retract ahead of time and improve the maximal walking velocity when the exoskeleton follows the person's motion.

  4. Control of the seven-degree-of-freedom upper limb exoskeleton for an improved human-robot interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyunchul; Kim, Jungsuk

    2017-04-01

    This study analyzes a practical scheme for controlling an exoskeleton robot with seven degrees of freedom (DOFs) that supports natural movements of the human arm. A redundant upper limb exoskeleton robot with seven DOFs is mechanically coupled to the human body such that it becomes a natural extension of the body. If the exoskeleton robot follows the movement of the human body synchronously, the energy exchange between the human and the robot will be reduced significantly. In order to achieve this, the redundancy of the human arm, which is represented by the swivel angle, should be resolved using appropriate constraints and applied to the robot. In a redundant 7-DOF upper limb exoskeleton, the pseudoinverse of the Jacobian with secondary objective functions is widely used to resolve the redundancy that defines the desired joint angles. A secondary objective function requires the desired joint angles for the movement of the human arm, and the angles are estimated by maximizing the projection of the longest principle axis of the manipulability ellipsoid for the human arm onto the virtual destination toward the head region. Then, they are fed into the muscle model with a relative damping to achieve more realistic robot-arm movements. Various natural arm movements are recorded using a motion capture system, and the actual swivel-angle is compared to that estimated using the proposed swivel angle estimation algorithm. The results indicate that the proposed algorithm provides a precise reference for estimating the desired joint angle with an error less than 5°.

  5. An adaptive neuromuscular controller for assistive lower-limb exoskeletons : A preliminary study on subjects with spinal cord injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, Amy R.; Dzeladini, Florin; Brug, Tycho J.H.; Tamburella, Federica; Tagliamonte, Nevio L.; Van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; Van Der Kooij, Herman; IJspeert, Auke Jan

    2017-01-01

    Versatility is important for a wearable exoskeleton controller to be responsive to both the user and the environment. These characteristics are especially important for subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI), where active recruitment of their own neuromuscular system could promote motor recovery.

  6. An adaptive neuromuscular controller for assistive lower-limb exoskeletons : A preliminary study on subjects with spinal cord injury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wu, Amy R.; Dzeladini, Florin; Brug, Tycho J.H.; Tamburella, Federica; Tagliamonte, Nevio L.; Van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.; van der Kooij, H.; Ijspeert, Auke J.

    2017-01-01

    Versatility is important for a wearable exoskeleton controller to be responsive to both the user and the environment. These characteristics are especially important for subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI), where active recruitment of their own neuromuscular system could promote motor recovery.

  7. Development of a lower limb rehabilitation exoskeleton based on real-time gait detection and gait tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hemiplegia, apoplexia, or traffic accidents often lead to unilateral lower limb movement disorders. Traditional lower limb rehabilitation equipments usually execute walk training based on fixed gait trajectory; however, this type is unsuitable for unilateral lower limb disorders because they still have athletic ability and initiative walking intention on the healthy side. This article describes a wearable lower limb rehabilitation exoskeleton with a walk-assisting platform for safety and anti-gravity support. The exoskeleton detects and tracks the motion of the healthy leg, which is then used as the control input of the dyskinetic leg with half a gate-cycle delay. The patient can undergo walk training on his own intention, including individual walking habit, stride length, and stride frequency, which likely contribute to the training initiative. The series elastic actuator is chosen for the exoskeleton because the torque output can be accurately detected and used to calculate the assisted torque on the dyskinetic leg. This parameter corresponds to the recovery level of a patient’s muscle force. Finally, the walk-assisting experiments reveal that the rehabilitation exoskeleton in this article can provide the necessary assisting torques on the dyskinetic leg, which can be accurately monitored in real time to evaluate a patient’s rehabilitation status.

  8. Using a brain-machine interface to control a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton during rehabilitation of patients with neurological conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hortal, Enrique; Planelles, Daniel; Resquin, Francisco; Climent, José M; Azorín, José M; Pons, José L

    2015-10-17

    As a consequence of the increase of cerebro-vascular accidents, the number of people suffering from motor disabilities is raising. Exoskeletons, Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) devices and Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) could be combined for rehabilitation purposes in order to improve therapy outcomes. In this work, a system based on a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton is used for neurological rehabilitation. Reaching movements are supported by the passive exoskeleton ArmeoSpring and FES. The movement execution is triggered by an EEG-based BMI. The BMI uses two different methods to interact with the exoskeleton from the user's brain activity. The first method relies on motor imagery tasks classification, whilst the second one is based on movement intention detection. Three healthy users and five patients with neurological conditions participated in the experiments to verify the usability of the system. Using the BMI based on motor imagery, healthy volunteers obtained an average accuracy of 82.9 ± 14.5 %, and patients obtained an accuracy of 65.3 ± 9.0 %, with a low False Positives rate (FP) (19.2 ± 10.4 % and 15.0 ± 8.4 %, respectively). On the other hand, by using the BMI based on detecting the arm movement intention, the average accuracy was 76.7 ± 13.2 % for healthy users and 71.6 ± 15.8 % for patients, with 28.7 ± 19.9 % and 21.2 ± 13.3 % of FP rate (healthy users and patients, respectively). The accuracy of the results shows that the combined use of a hybrid upper limb exoskeleton and a BMI could be used for rehabilitation therapies. The advantage of this system is that the user is an active part of the rehabilitation procedure. The next step will be to verify what are the clinical benefits for the patients using this new rehabilitation procedure.

  9. Safety and tolerance of the ReWalk™ exoskeleton suit for ambulation by people with complete spinal cord injury: a pilot study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zeilig, Gabi; Weingarden, Harold; Zwecker, Manuel; Dudkiewicz, Israel; Bloch, Ayala; Esquenazi, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    ...™ exoskeleton ambulation system in people with spinal cord injury. Measures of functional ambulation were also assessed and correlated to neurological spinal cord level, age, and duration since injury...

  10. Closed-Loop Neuroprosthesis for Reach-to-Grasp Assistance: Combining Adaptive Multi-channel Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-joint Arm Exoskeleton

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Grimm, Florian; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    .... In this feasibility study, we introduced a closed-loop neuroprosthesis for reach-to-grasp assistance which combines adaptive multi-channel neuromuscular stimulation with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton...

  11. Design of Wrist Gimbal: a forearm and wrist exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, John A; Ng, Paul; Lu, Son; Campagna, McKenzie S; Celik, Ozkan

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we present design, implementation and specifications of the Wrist Gimbal, a three degree-of-freedom (DOF) exoskeleton developed for forearm and wrist rehabilitation. Wrist Gimbal has three active DOF, corresponding to pronation/supination, flexion/extension and adduction/abduction joints. We mainly focused on a robust, safe and practical device design to facilitate clinical implementation, testing and acceptance. Robustness and mechanical rigidity was achieved by implementing two bearing supports for each of the pronation/supination and adduction/abduction axes. Rubber hard stops for each axis, an emergency stop button and software measures ensured safe operation. An arm rest with padding and straps, a handle with adjustable distal distance and height and a large inner volume contribute to ease of use, of patient attachment and to comfort. We present the specifications of Wrist Gimbal in comparison with similar devices in the literature and example data collected from a healthy subject.

  12. An EMG-Based Control for an Upper-Limb Power-Assist Exoskeleton Robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiguchi, K; Hayashi, Y

    2012-08-01

    Many kinds of power-assist robots have been developed in order to assist self-rehabilitation and/or daily life motions of physically weak persons. Several kinds of control methods have been proposed to control the power-assist robots according to user's motion intention. In this paper, an electromyogram (EMG)-based impedance control method for an upper-limb power-assist exoskeleton robot is proposed to control the robot in accordance with the user's motion intention. The proposed method is simple, easy to design, humanlike, and adaptable to any user. A neurofuzzy matrix modifier is applied to make the controller adaptable to any users. Not only the characteristics of EMG signals but also the characteristics of human body are taken into account in the proposed method. The effectiveness of the proposed method was evaluated by the experiments.

  13. Robust Control of a Cable-Driven Soft Exoskeleton Joint for Intrinsic Human-Robot Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrett, C; McDaid, A J

    2017-07-01

    A novel, cable-driven soft joint is presented for use in robotic rehabilitation exoskeletons to provide intrinsic, comfortable human-robot interaction. The torque-displacement characteristics of the soft elastomeric core contained within the joint are modeled. This knowledge is used in conjunction with a dynamic system model to derive a sliding mode controller (SMC) to implement low-level torque control of the joint. The SMC controller is experimentally compared with a baseline feedback-linearised proportional-derivative controller across a range of conditions and shown to be robust to un-modeled disturbances. The torque controller is then tested with six healthy subjects while they perform a selection of activities of daily living, which has validated its range of performance. Finally, a case study with a participant with spastic cerebral palsy is presented to illustrate the potential of both the joint and controller to be used in a physiotherapy setting to assist clinical populations.

  14. Design and evaluation of the LOPES exoskeleton robot for interactive gait rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veneman, Jan F; Kruidhof, Rik; Hekman, Edsko E G; Ekkelenkamp, Ralf; Van Asseldonk, Edwin H F; van der Kooij, Herman

    2007-09-01

    This paper introduces a newly developed gait rehabilitation device. The device, called LOPES, combines a freely translatable and 2-D-actuated pelvis segment with a leg exoskeleton containing three actuated rotational joints: two at the hip and one at the knee. The joints are impedance controlled to allow bidirectional mechanical interaction between the robot and the training subject. Evaluation measurements show that the device allows both a "patient-in-charge" and "robot-in-charge" mode, in which the robot is controlled either to follow or to guide a patient, respectively. Electromyography (EMG) measurements (one subject) on eight important leg muscles, show that free walking in the device strongly resembles free treadmill walking; an indication that the device can offer task-specific gait training. The possibilities and limitations to using the device as gait measurement tool are also shown at the moment position measurements are not accurate enough for inverse-dynamical gait analysis.

  15. Design and Evaluation of an Actuated Exoskeleton for Examining Motor Control in Stroke Thumb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Furui; Jones, Christopher L; Shastri, Milind; Qian, Kai; Kamper, Derek G; Sarkar, Nilanjan

    Chronic hand impairment is common following stroke. This paper presents an actuated thumb exoskeleton (ATX) to facilitate research in examining motor control and hand rehabilitation. The ATX presented in this work aims to provide independent bi-directional actuation in each of the 5 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) of the thumb using a novel flexible shaft based mechanism that has 5 active DOF and 3 passive DOF. A prototype has been built and experiments have been conducted to measure the allowable workspace at the thumb and evaluate the kinematic and kinetic performance of the ATX. The experimental results show that the ATX is able to provide individual actuation at all 5 thumb joints with high joint velocity and torque capacities. Further improvement and future work are discussed.

  16. Epibiotic ciliates Scyphidia sp. and diatoms on Tigriopus fulvus (Copepoda: Harpacticoida exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Pane

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Several microorganisms – epibionts – can adhere to living supports taking advantage for their survival, feeding and movement. Epibiosis occurs particularly in aquatic environments, on both benthic and planktonic organisms, among which copepods and cladocerans represent an important living support. The harpacticoid copepod Tigriopus fulvus, living in the splashpools of rocky coasts, was studied to recognize the occurrence of epibionts on the exoskeleton surface using scanning electon microscopy techniques. The first evidence of ciliate Scyphidia sp. on Tigriopus fulvus has been described and the occurrence of algae Cocconeis sp. has been observed as well. Epibionts were found to adhere to antennae, a site linked to the exploitation of water currents carrying food particles to mouthparts and to swimming legs. The reason of the occurrence on swimming legs is less clear and needs further observations. Pertinent results are described and discussed and the influence of epibionts on life cycle and behavior of Tigriopus fulvus is considered.

  17. Quantifying anti-gravity torques in the design of a powered exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragonesi, Daniel; Agrawal, Sunil; Sample, Whitney; Rahman, Tariq

    2011-01-01

    Designing an upper extremity exoskeleton for people with arm weakness requires knowledge of the passive and active residual force capabilities of users. This paper experimentally measures the passive gravitational torques of 3 groups of subjects: able-bodied adults, able bodied children, and children with neurological disabilities. The experiment involves moving the arm to various positions in the sagittal plane and measuring the gravitational force at the wrist. This force is then converted to static gravitational torques at the elbow and shoulder. Data are compared between look-up table data based on anthropometry and empirical data. Results show that the look-up torques deviate from experimentally measured torques as the arm reaches up and down. This experiment informs designers of Upper Limb orthoses on the contribution of passive human joint torques.

  18. A restrained-torque-based motion instructor: forearm flexion/extension-driving exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Takuya; Nomura, Yoshihiko; Sakamoto, Ryota

    2013-01-01

    When learning complicated movements by ourselves, we encounter such problems as a self-rightness. The self-rightness results in a lack of detail and objectivity, and it may cause to miss essences and even twist the essences. Thus, we sometimes fall into the habits of doing inappropriate motions. To solve these problems or to alleviate the problems as could as possible, we have been developed mechanical man-machine human interfaces to support us learning such motions as cultural gestures and sports form. One of the promising interfaces is a wearable exoskeleton mechanical system. As of the first try, we have made a prototype of a 2-link 1-DOF rotational elbow joint interface that is applied for teaching extension-flexion operations with forearms and have found its potential abilities for teaching the initiating and continuing flection motion of the elbow.

  19. Mechanical Design of a Hybrid Leg Exoskeleton to Augment Load-Carrying for Walking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunjie Miao

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available An innovative lower extremity exoskeleton, SJTU-EX, is demonstrated in Shanghai JiaoTong University, which mainly aims to help soldiers and workers to support a payload in motion. This paper summarizes the mechanical design of SJTU-EX. Each pseudo-anthropomorphic leg of SJTU-EX has four active joints and two passive joints, and the joint ranges are optimized in consideration of both safety factors and the realization of typical motions. Springs are applied in the leg to eliminate the effect of gravity. The results of dynamic simulations are used to determine the actuated joints and the passive joints. Novel Hy-Mo actuators are introduced for SJTU-EX and the layout of the actuator for Diamond Side 2 is described in detail as a design example.

  20. Control Architecture of a 10 DOF Lower Limbs Exoskeleton for Gait Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasa Koceska

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the control architecture of a 10 DOF (Degrees of Freedom lower limbs exoskeleton for the gait rehabilitation of patients with gait dysfunction. The system has 4 double-acting rod pneumatic actuators (two for each leg that control the hip and knee joints. The motion of each cylinder's piston is controlled by two proportional pressure valves, connected to both cylinder chambers. The control strategy has been specifically designed in order to ensure a proper trajectory control for guiding patient's legs along a fixed reference gait pattern. An adaptive fuzzy controller which is capable of compensating for the influence of the dry friction was successfully designed, implemented and tested on an embedded real-time PC/104. In order to verify the proposed control architecture, laboratory experiments without a patient were carried out and the results are reported here and discussed.

  1. Design of a spring-assisted exoskeleton module for wrist and hand rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Joel C; Trimble, Shawn; Castilho Machado, Luiz Gustavo; Schroeder, Jeremiah S; Belloso, Aitor; Rodriguez-de-Pablo, Cristina; Keller, Thierry

    2016-08-01

    This paper reports on the development of a low-profile exoskeleton module to enable training of the fingers and thumb in grasp and release tasks. The design has been made as an add-on module for use with the ArmAssist arm rehabilitation system (Tecnalia, Spain). Variable-position springs and adjustable link lengths provide adaptability to fit a variety of users. Additive manufacturing has been utilized for the majority of components allowing easy modifications. A few structural components were machined from aluminum or steel to produce a functional prototype with sufficient strength for direct evaluation. The design includes independent and adjustable assistance in finger and thumb extension using various width elastic bands, and measurement of user grasp/release forces in finger flexion/extension, thumb flexion/extension, and thumb adduction/abduction using low-profile force sensitive resistors.

  2. Design and Evaluation of an Actuated Exoskeleton for Examining Motor Control in Stroke Thumb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Furui; Jones, Christopher L.; Shastri, Milind; Qian, Kai; Kamper, Derek G.; Sarkar, Nilanjan

    2016-01-01

    Chronic hand impairment is common following stroke. This paper presents an actuated thumb exoskeleton (ATX) to facilitate research in examining motor control and hand rehabilitation. The ATX presented in this work aims to provide independent bi-directional actuation in each of the 5 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) of the thumb using a novel flexible shaft based mechanism that has 5 active DOF and 3 passive DOF. A prototype has been built and experiments have been conducted to measure the allowable workspace at the thumb and evaluate the kinematic and kinetic performance of the ATX. The experimental results show that the ATX is able to provide individual actuation at all 5 thumb joints with high joint velocity and torque capacities. Further improvement and future work are discussed. PMID:27672232

  3. Active disturbance rejection control based human gait tracking for lower extremity rehabilitation exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yi; Du, Zhijiang; Cong, Lin; Wang, Weidong; Zhang, Zhiming; Dong, Wei

    2017-03-01

    This paper presents an active disturbance rejection control (ADRC) based strategy, which is applied to track the human gait trajectory for a lower limb rehabilitation exoskeleton. The desired human gait trajectory is derived from the Clinical Gait Analysis (CGA). In ADRC, the total external disturbance can be estimated by the extended state observer (ESO) and canceled by the designed control law. The observer bandwidth and the controller bandwidth are determined by the practical principles. We simulated the proposed methodology in MATLAB. The numerical simulation shows the tracking error comparison and the estimated errors of the extended state observer. Two experimental tests were carried out to prove the performance of the algorithm presented in this paper. The experiment results show that the proposed ADRC behaves a better performance than the regular proportional integral derivative (PID) controller. With the proposed ADRC, the rehabilitation system is capable of tracking the target gait more accurately. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Movement Intention Prediction to Find a New Exoskeleton Design with Light and Comfortable Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza Torres, Ing. Mauricio; Fredy Bernal, Ing; Andrés Cifuentes, Ing.

    2017-12-01

    This paper presents a discussion about the design a novel exoskeleton and the implementation of superficial magnetic sensor and pressure sensor for find patterns and parameters in order to predicting the intention of movement for people with musculoskeletal system problem in lower limbs. The information is obtained through reading position and movement by magnetic and pressure sensor installed in different parts of the body. The advantage of this sensor is the location of the position reference of the every part of the body. Using the sensor in some parts of the body is possible to calculate the muscle contraction for the prediction of intended movement and to find a new design with light and comfortable materials.

  5. The Yeast Fungus Trichosporon lactis Found as an Epizoic Colonizer of Dung Beetle Exoskeletons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górz, Andrzej; Boroń, Piotr

    2016-02-01

    The study on the biology and biodiversity of coprophagous Scarabaeoidea carried out in the Polish Carpathians revealed the occurrence of unusual epizoic excrescences on various dung beetles species of the genus Onthophagus. The excrescences occur on the elytra, prothorax, and head of the studied beetles. Detailed research on this phenomenon determined that the fungus grew in the form of multicellular thalli. The ITS-based identification of fungal material collected from beetles' exoskeletons resulted in a 100 % match with Trichosporon lactis. Until now, only a yeast lifestyle/stage was known for this basidiomycete species. Therefore, in this paper, we describe a new substrate for growth of T. lactis and its unknown and intriguing relationship with dung beetles. The results obtained in this study open up numerous research possibilities on the new role of dung beetles in terrestrial ecosystems, as well as on using the physiological properties of T. lactis to restore soils.

  6. Reduction of stroke assessment time for visually guided reaching task on KINARM exoskeleton robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, S M; Dukelow, S P; Glasgow, J I; Scott, S H; Mousavi, P

    2014-01-01

    Robotic technologies provide objective, highly reliable tools for assessment of brain function following stroke. KINARM is an exoskeleton device that quantifies sensorimotor brain function using a visually guided reaching task among many other behavioral tasks. As further tasks are developed to more broadly assess different aspects of behavior using the robot, techniques and approaches are required to reduce the time it takes to complete each task. The present study investigates how the value of robot-measured parameters changes under alternative schemes that significantly reduce assessment time compared to the current assessment protocol for the visually guided reaching task. Results of the study are validated by addressing an important diagnostic question using an SVM classifier, showing that the alternative schemes provide nearly identical performance in terms of classification sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.

  7. Design and testing of an under-actuated surface EMG-driven hand exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lince, A; Celadon, N; Battezzato, A; Favetto, A; Appendino, S; Ariano, P; Paleari, M

    2017-07-01

    Stroke and other neurological pathologies are an increasing cause of hand impairment, involving expensive rehabilitative therapies. In this scenario, robotics applied to hand rehabilitation and assistance appears particularly promising in order to lower therapy costs and boost its efficacy. This work shows a recently conceived hand exoskeleton, from the design and realization to its preliminary evaluation. A control strategy based on surface electromyography (sEMG) signals is integrated: preliminary tests performed on healthy subjects show the validity of this choice. The testing protocol, applied on healthy subjects, demonstrated the robustness of the whole system, both in terms of mimicking a physiological distribution of finger forces across subjects, and of realizing an effective control strategy based on the user's intention.

  8. Constraint Study for a Hand Exoskeleton: Human Hand Kinematics and Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fai Chen Chen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years, the number of projects studying the human hand from the robotic point of view has increased rapidly, due to the growing interest in academic and industrial applications. Nevertheless, the complexity of the human hand given its large number of degrees of freedom (DoF within a significantly reduced space requires an exhaustive analysis, before proposing any applications. The aim of this paper is to provide a complete summary of the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of the human hand as a preliminary step towards the development of hand devices such as prosthetic/robotic hands and exoskeletons imitating the human hand shape and functionality. A collection of data and constraints relevant to hand movements is presented, and the direct and inverse kinematics are solved for all the fingers as well as the dynamics; anthropometric data and dynamics equations allow performing simulations to understand the behavior of the finger.

  9. Ethical considerations in providing an upper limb exoskeleton device for stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulboacă, Adriana E; Bolboacă, Sorana D; Bulboacă, Angelo C

    2017-04-01

    The health care system needs to face new and advanced medical technologies that can improve the patients' quality of life by replacing lost or decreased functions. In stroke patients, the disabilities that follow cerebral lesions may impair the mandatory daily activities of an independent life. These activities are dependent mostly on the patient's upper limb function so that they can carry out most of the common activities associated with a normal life. Therefore, an upper limb exoskeleton device for stroke patients can contribute a real improvement of quality of their life. The ethical problems that need to be considered are linked to the correct adjustment of the upper limb skills in order to satisfy the patient's expectations, but within physiological limits. The debate regarding the medical devices dedicated to neurorehabilitation is focused on their ability to be beneficial to the patient's life, keeping away damages, injustice, and risks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Single Degree-of-Freedom Exoskeleton Mechanism Design for Finger Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolbrecht, Eric T.; Reinkensmeyer, David J.; Perez-Gracia, Alba

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents the kinematic design of a single degree-of-freedom exoskeleton mechanism: a planar eight-bar mechanism for finger curling. The mechanism is part of a finger-thumb robotic device for hand therapy that will allow users to practice key pinch grip and finger-thumb opposition, allowing discrete control inputs for playing notes on a musical gaming interface. This approach uses the mechanism to generate the desired grasping trajectory rather than actuating the joints of the fingers and thumb independently. In addition, the mechanism is confined to the back of the hand, so as to allow sensory input into the palm of the hand, minimal size and apparent inertia, and the possibility of placing multiple mechanisms side-by-side to allow control of individual fingers. PMID:22275628

  11. Modeling and design of a tendon actuated soft robotic exoskeleton for hemiparetic upper limb rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nycz, Christopher J; Delph, Michael A; Fischer, Gregory S

    2015-01-01

    Robotic technology has recently been explored as a means to rehabilitate and assist individuals suffering from hemiparesis of their upper limbs. Robotic approaches allow for targeted rehabilitation routines which are more personalized and adaptable while providing quantitative measurements of patient outcomes. Development of these technologies into inherently safe and portable devices has the potential to extend the therapy outside of the clinical setting and into the patient's home with benefits to the cost and accessibility of care. To this end, a soft, cable actuated robotic glove and sleeve was designed, modeled, and constructed to provide assistance of finger and elbow movements in a way that mimics the biological function of the tendons. The resulting design increases safety through greater compliance as well as greater tolerance for misalignment with the user's skeletal frame over traditional rigid exoskeletons. Overall this design provides a platform to expand and study the concepts around soft robotic rehabilitation.

  12. Kinetic modelling of the demineralization of shrimp exoskeleton using citric acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alewo Opuada AMEH

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Citric acid was used in the demineralization of shrimp exoskeleton and the kinetics of the demineralization process was studied. Kinetic data was obtained by demineralisation using five acid concentrations (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5M. The obtained kinetic data were fitted to the shrinking core model for fluid particle reactions. The concentration of calcium was found to decrease with time. For all acid concentrations considered, the best predictive mechanism for the demineralization process was determined to be Ash Layer Diffusion Control Mechanism. This was indicated by the high R2 values obtained (0.965 with 150% excess of citric acid.

  13. Design of a simple, lightweight, passive-elastic ankle exoskeleton supporting ankle joint stiffness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seyoung; Son, Youngsu; Choi, Sangkyu; Ham, Sangyong; Park, Cheolhoon

    2015-09-01

    In this study, a passive-elastic ankle exoskeleton (PEAX) with a one-way clutch mechanism was developed and then pilot-tested with vertical jumping to determine whether the PEAX is sufficiently lightweight and comfortable to be used in further biomechanical studies. The PEAX was designed to supplement the function of the Achilles tendon and ligaments as they passively support the ankle torque with their inherent stiffness. The main frame of the PEAX consists of upper and lower parts connected to each other by tension springs (N = 3) and lubricated hinge joints. The upper part has an offset angle of 5° with respect to the vertical line when the springs are in their resting state. Each spring has a slack length of 8 cm and connects the upper part to the tailrod of the lower part in the neutral position. The tailrod freely rotates with low friction but has a limited range of motion due to the stop pin working as a one-way clutch. Because of the one-way clutch system, the tension springs store the elastic energy only due to an ankle dorsiflexion when triggered by the stop pin. This clutch mechanism also has the advantage of preventing any inconvenience during ankle plantarflexion because it does not limit the ankle joint motion during the plantarflexion phase. In pilot jumping tests, all of the subjects reported that the PEAX was comfortable for jumping due to its lightweight (approximately 1 kg) and compact (firmly integrated with shoes) design, and subjects were able to nearly reach their maximum vertical jump heights while wearing the PEAX. During the countermovement jump, elastic energy was stored during dorsiflexion by spring extension and released during plantarflexion by spring restoration, indicating that the passive spring torque (i.e., supportive torque) generated by the ankle exoskeleton partially supported the ankle joint torque throughout the process.

  14. Reference path generation for upper-arm exoskeletons considering scapulohumeral rhythms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltani-Zarrin, Rana; Zeiaee, Amin; Langari, Reza; Robson, Nina

    2017-07-01

    This paper proposes a reference path generation method for upper-limb rehabilitation exoskeletons considering the scapulohumeral rhythms of the shoulder. The developed method is based on Central Nervous System's (CNS) governing rules for coordination of arm motions, and to the best of our knowledge is the first computational model to consider the motion of the inner shoulder in path generation. Existing reference generation methods which utilize computational models such as minimum jerk, minimum torque, etc, are based on the assumption that the shoulder joint does not move, and the origin of the reference frame is defined at the center of the glenohumeral (GH) joint. These computational methods are generally developed for simple point-to-point reaching movements with limited range of motion (RoM) which justifies the assumption of fixed shoulder center. However, most upper limb motions such as Activities of Daily Living (ADL) tasks include larger scale inward and outward reaching motions, during which the center of shoulder joint moves significantly. The proposed motion planning method can be used in upper-limb exoskeletons with 3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) in shoulder and 1 DoF in elbow which are capable of supporting the motion of the shoulder girdle by moving the center of shoulder joint. The outputs of the proposed model are compared with the natural motion of arm during ADL tasks, recorded via a motion capture system. Comparison of the results show that the proposed model is able to reproduce human ADL motions, and can effectively be used for reference generation. The results of this study also confirm that neglecting the fine manipulations with wrist and fingers, ADL tasks can be modeled as large RoM reaching tasks from the perspective of elbow-shoulder coordination.

  15. A Neural Network-Based Gait Phase Classification Method Using Sensors Equipped on Lower Limb Exoskeleton Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Jun-Young; Heo, Wonho; Yang, Hyundae; Park, Hyunsub

    2015-01-01

    An exact classification of different gait phases is essential to enable the control of exoskeleton robots and detect the intentions of users. We propose a gait phase classification method based on neural networks using sensor signals from lower limb exoskeleton robots. In such robots, foot sensors with force sensing registers are commonly used to classify gait phases. We describe classifiers that use the orientation of each lower limb segment and the angular velocities of the joints to output the current gait phase. Experiments to obtain the input signals and desired outputs for the learning and validation process are conducted, and two neural network methods (a multilayer perceptron and nonlinear autoregressive with external inputs (NARX)) are used to develop an optimal classifier. Offline and online evaluations using four criteria are used to compare the performance of the classifiers. The proposed NARX-based method exhibits sufficiently good performance to replace foot sensors as a means of classifying gait phases. PMID:26528986

  16. A Neural Network-Based Gait Phase Classification Method Using Sensors Equipped on Lower Limb Exoskeleton Robots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Young Jung

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available An exact classification of different gait phases is essential to enable the control of exoskeleton robots and detect the intentions of users. We propose a gait phase classification method based on neural networks using sensor signals from lower limb exoskeleton robots. In such robots, foot sensors with force sensing registers are commonly used to classify gait phases. We describe classifiers that use the orientation of each lower limb segment and the angular velocities of the joints to output the current gait phase. Experiments to obtain the input signals and desired outputs for the learning and validation process are conducted, and two neural network methods (a multilayer perceptron and nonlinear autoregressive with external inputs (NARX are used to develop an optimal classifier. Offline and online evaluations using four criteria are used to compare the performance of the classifiers. The proposed NARX-based method exhibits sufficiently good performance to replace foot sensors as a means of classifying gait phases.

  17. A Neural Network-Based Gait Phase Classification Method Using Sensors Equipped on Lower Limb Exoskeleton Robots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Jun-Young; Heo, Wonho; Yang, Hyundae; Park, Hyunsub

    2015-10-30

    An exact classification of different gait phases is essential to enable the control of exoskeleton robots and detect the intentions of users. We propose a gait phase classification method based on neural networks using sensor signals from lower limb exoskeleton robots. In such robots, foot sensors with force sensing registers are commonly used to classify gait phases. We describe classifiers that use the orientation of each lower limb segment and the angular velocities of the joints to output the current gait phase. Experiments to obtain the input signals and desired outputs for the learning and validation process are conducted, and two neural network methods (a multilayer perceptron and nonlinear autoregressive with external inputs (NARX)) are used to develop an optimal classifier. Offline and online evaluations using four criteria are used to compare the performance of the classifiers. The proposed NARX-based method exhibits sufficiently good performance to replace foot sensors as a means of classifying gait phases.

  18. Hybrid Neuroprosthesis for the Upper Limb: Combining Brain-Controlled Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-Joint Arm Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Walter, Armin; Spüler, Martin; Naros, Georgios; Rosenstiel, Wolfgang; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interface-controlled (BMI) neurofeedback training aims to modulate cortical physiology and is applied during neurorehabilitation to increase the responsiveness of the brain to subsequent physiotherapy. In a parallel line of research, robotic exoskeletons are used in goal-oriented rehabilitation exercises for patients with severe motor impairment to extend their range of motion (ROM) and the intensity of training. Furthermore, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is applied in neurologically impaired patients to restore muscle strength by closing the sensorimotor loop. In this proof-of-principle study, we explored an integrated approach for providing assistance as needed to amplify the task-related ROM and the movement-related brain modulation during rehabilitation exercises of severely impaired patients. For this purpose, we combined these three approaches (BMI, NMES, and exoskeleton) in an integrated neuroprosthesis and studied the feasibility of this device in seven severely affected chronic stroke patients who performed wrist flexion and extension exercises while receiving feedback via a virtual environment. They were assisted by a gravity-compensating, seven degree-of-freedom exoskeleton which was attached to the paretic arm. NMES was applied to the wrist extensor and flexor muscles during the exercises and was controlled by a hybrid BMI based on both sensorimotor cortical desynchronization (ERD) and electromyography (EMG) activity. The stimulation intensity was individualized for each targeted muscle and remained subthreshold, i.e., induced no overt support. The hybrid BMI controlled the stimulation significantly better than the offline analyzed ERD (p = 0.028) or EMG (p = 0.021) modality alone. Neuromuscular stimulation could be well integrated into the exoskeleton-based training and amplified both the task-related ROM (p = 0.009) and the movement-related brain modulation (p = 0.019). Combining a hybrid BMI with neuromuscular stimulation

  19. Time and Effort Required by Persons with Spinal Cord Injury to Learn to Use a Powered Exoskeleton for Assisted Walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowski, Allan J; Bryce, Thomas N; Dijkers, Marcel P

    2015-01-01

    Powered exoskeletons have been demonstrated as being safe for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), but little is known about how users learn to manage these devices. To quantify the time and effort required by persons with SCI to learn to use an exoskeleton for assisted walking. A convenience sample was enrolled to learn to use the first-generation Ekso powered exoskeleton to walk. Participants were given up to 24 weekly sessions of instruction. Data were collected on assistance level, walking distance and speed, heart rate, perceived exertion, and adverse events. Time and effort was quantified by the number of sessions required for participants to stand up, walk for 30 minutes, and sit down, initially with minimal and subsequently with contact guard assistance. Of 22 enrolled participants, 9 screen-failed, and 7 had complete data. All of these 7 were men; 2 had tetraplegia and 5 had motor-complete injuries. Of these, 5 participants could stand, walk, and sit with contact guard or close supervision assistance, and 2 required minimal to moderate assistance. Walk times ranged from 28 to 94 minutes with average speeds ranging from 0.11 to 0.21 m/s. For all participants, heart rate changes and reported perceived exertion were consistent with light to moderate exercise. This study provides preliminary evidence that persons with neurological weakness due to SCI can learn to walk with little or no assistance and light to somewhat hard perceived exertion using a powered exoskeleton. Persons with different severities of injury, including those with motor complete C7 tetraplegia and motor incomplete C4 tetraplegia, may be able to learn to use this device.

  20. Hybrid Neuroprosthesis for the Upper Limb: Combining Brain-Controlled Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-Joint Arm Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Walter, Armin; Spüler, Martin; Naros, Georgios; Rosenstiel, Wolfgang; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interface-controlled (BMI) neurofeedback training aims to modulate cortical physiology and is applied during neurorehabilitation to increase the responsiveness of the brain to subsequent physiotherapy. In a parallel line of research, robotic exoskeletons are used in goal-oriented rehabilitation exercises for patients with severe motor impairment to extend their range of motion (ROM) and the intensity of training. Furthermore, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is applied in neurologically impaired patients to restore muscle strength by closing the sensorimotor loop. In this proof-of-principle study, we explored an integrated approach for providing assistance as needed to amplify the task-related ROM and the movement-related brain modulation during rehabilitation exercises of severely impaired patients. For this purpose, we combined these three approaches (BMI, NMES, and exoskeleton) in an integrated neuroprosthesis and studied the feasibility of this device in seven severely affected chronic stroke patients who performed wrist flexion and extension exercises while receiving feedback via a virtual environment. They were assisted by a gravity-compensating, seven degree-of-freedom exoskeleton which was attached to the paretic arm. NMES was applied to the wrist extensor and flexor muscles during the exercises and was controlled by a hybrid BMI based on both sensorimotor cortical desynchronization (ERD) and electromyography (EMG) activity. The stimulation intensity was individualized for each targeted muscle and remained subthreshold, i.e., induced no overt support. The hybrid BMI controlled the stimulation significantly better than the offline analyzed ERD (p = 0.028) or EMG (p = 0.021) modality alone. Neuromuscular stimulation could be well integrated into the exoskeleton-based training and amplified both the task-related ROM (p = 0.009) and the movement-related brain modulation (p = 0.019). Combining a hybrid BMI with neuromuscular stimulation

  1. Volition-adaptive control for gait training using wearable exoskeleton: preliminary tests with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Rajasekaran, Vijaykumar; López Larraz, Eduardo; Trincado Alonso, Fernando; Aranda López, Juan; Montesano Del Campo, Luis; Ama, Antonio J. del; Pons Rovira, Jose Luis

    2018-01-01

    Background Gait training for individuals with neurological disorders is challenging in providing the suitable assistance and more adaptive behaviour towards user needs. The user specific adaptation can be defined based on the user interaction with the orthosis and by monitoring the user intentions. In this paper, an adaptive control model, commanded by the user intention, is evaluated using a lower limb exoskeleton with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals (SCI). Methods A user...

  2. Volition-adaptive control for gait training using wearable exoskeleton: preliminary tests with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Rajasekaran, Vijaykumar; López-Larraz, Eduardo; Trincado-Alonso, Fernando; Aranda, Joan; Montesano, Luis; del-Ama, Antonio J.; Pons, Jose L.

    2018-01-01

    Background Gait training for individuals with neurological disorders is challenging in providing the suitable assistance and more adaptive behaviour towards user needs. The user specific adaptation can be defined based on the user interaction with the orthosis and by monitoring the user intentions. In this paper, an adaptive control model, commanded by the user intention, is evaluated using a lower limb exoskeleton with incomplete spinal cord injury individuals (SCI). Methods A user intention...

  3. A Lower Extremity Exoskeleton: Human-Machine Coupled Modeling, Robust Control Design, Simulation, and Overload-Carrying Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Guo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A robust H∞ control method and switched control algorithm for hydraulic actuator presents in human-machine coordinated motion to solve the motion delay of lower extremity exoskeleton. After the characteristic parameters synthesis of human limb and exoskeleton linkage, the human-machine coupled motion model is constructed to estimate the appropriate hydraulic pressure, which is considered as a structural uncertainty in hydraulic model. Then the robust controller is designed to improve the robust stability and performance under the structural and parametric uncertainty disturbances. Simulation results show that, in walking mode, this robust controller can achieve a better dynamic response and aid-force efficiency than PID controller. Then, according to gait divisions of person’s limb motion, the switched control algorithm is designed to reduce the delay of exoskeleton tracking person. Finally, the experimental results show that the human-machine coordinated walk with bearing 60 kg load and squat action with no external load are realized effectively by this proposed method.

  4. sEMG-based joint force control for an upper-limb power-assist exoskeleton robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhijun; Wang, Baocheng; Sun, Fuchun; Yang, Chenguang; Xie, Qing; Zhang, Weidong

    2014-05-01

    This paper investigates two surface electromyogram (sEMG)-based control strategies developed for a power-assist exoskeleton arm. Different from most of the existing position control approaches, this paper develops force control methods to make the exoskeleton robot behave like humans in order to provide better assistance. The exoskeleton robot is directly attached to a user's body and activated by the sEMG signals of the user's muscles, which reflect the user's motion intention. In the first proposed control method, the forces of agonist and antagonist muscles pair are estimated, and their difference is used to produce the torque of the corresponding joints. In the second method, linear discriminant analysis-based classifiers are introduced as the indicator of the motion type of the joints. Then, the classifier's outputs together with the estimated force of corresponding active muscle determine the torque control signals. Different from the conventional approaches, one classifier is assigned to each joint, which decreases the training time and largely simplifies the recognition process. Finally, the extensive experiments are conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approaches.

  5. Voluntary driven exoskeleton as a new tool for rehabilitation in chronic spinal cord injury: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aach, Mirko; Cruciger, Oliver; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Höffken, Oliver; Meindl, Renate Ch; Tegenthoff, Martin; Schwenkreis, Peter; Sankai, Yoshiyuki; Schildhauer, Thomas A

    2014-12-01

    Treadmill training after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) has become an established therapy to improve walking capabilities. The hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton has been developed to support motor function and is tailored to the patients' voluntary drive. To determine whether locomotor training with the exoskeleton HAL is safe and can increase functional mobility in chronic paraplegic patients after SCI. A single case experimental A-B (pre-post) design study by repeated assessments of the same patients. The subjects performed 90 days (five times per week) of HAL exoskeleton body weight supported treadmill training with variable gait speed and body weight support. Eight patients with chronic SCI classified by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) consisting of ASIA A (zones of partial preservation [ZPP] L3-S1), n=4; ASIA B (with motor ZPP L3-S1), n=1; and ASIA C/D, n=3, who received full rehabilitation in the acute and subacute phases of SCI. Functional measures included treadmill-associated walking distance, speed, and time, with additional analysis of functional improvements using the 10-m walk test (10MWT), timed-up and go test (TUG test), 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and the walking index for SCI II (WISCI II) score. Secondary physiologic measures including the AIS with the lower extremity motor score (LEMS), the spinal spasticity (Ashworth scale), and the lower extremity circumferences. Subjects performed standardized functional testing before and after the 90 days of intervention. Highly significant improvements of HAL-associated walking time, distance, and speed were noticed. Furthermore, significant improvements have been especially shown in the functional abilities without the exoskeleton for over-ground walking obtained in the 6MWT, TUG test, and the 10MWT, including an increase in the WISCI II score of three patients. Muscle strength (LEMS) increased in all patients accompanied by a gain of the lower limb

  6. Clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injury: systematic review with meta-analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miller LE

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Larry E Miller,1 Angela K Zimmermann,1 William G Herbert,1,2 1Miller Scientific Consulting, Inc., Asheville, NC, 2Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA Background: Powered exoskeletons are designed to safely facilitate ambulation in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI. We conducted the first meta-analysis of the available published research on the clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeletons in SCI patients. Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for studies of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with SCI. Main outcomes were analyzed using fixed and random effects meta-analysis models. Results: A total of 14 studies (eight ReWalk™, three Ekso™, two Indego®, and one unspecified exoskeleton representing 111 patients were included in the analysis. Training programs were typically conducted three times per week, 60–120 minutes per session, for 1–24 weeks. Ten studies utilized flat indoor surfaces for training and four studies incorporated complex training, including walking outdoors, navigating obstacles, climbing and descending stairs, and performing activities of daily living. Following the exoskeleton training program, 76% of patients were able to ambulate with no physical assistance. The weighted mean distance for the 6-minute walk test was 98 m. The physiologic demand of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking was 3.3 metabolic equivalents and rating of perceived exertion was 10 on the Borg 6–20 scale, comparable to self-reported exertion of an able-bodied person walking at 3 miles per hour. Improvements in spasticity and bowel movement regularity were reported in 38% and 61% of patients, respectively. No serious adverse events occurred. The incidence of fall at any time during training was 4.4%, all occurring while tethered using a first-generation exoskeleton and none resulting in injury. The incidence of bone fracture during training was 3

  7. Comparison of Knee and Ankle Dynamometry between NASA's X1 Exoskeleton and Biodex System 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, K. L.; Newby, N. J.; Hackney, K. J.; DeWitt, J. K.; Beck, C. E.; Rovekamp, R. N.; Rea, R. L.; Ploutz-Snyder, L. L.

    2014-01-01

    Pre- and post-flight dynamometry is performed on International Space Station crewmembers to characterize microgravity-induced strength changes. Strength is not assessed in flight due to hardware limitations and there is poor understanding of the time course of in-flight changes. PURPOSE: To assess the reliability of a prototype dynamometer, the X1 Exoskeleton (EXO) and its agreement with a Biodex System 4 (BIO). METHODS: Eight subjects (4 M/4 F) completed 2 counterbalanced testing sessions of knee extension/flexion (KE/KF), 1 with BIO and 1 with EXO, with repeated measures within each session in normal gravity. Test-retest reliability (test 1 and 2) and device agreement (BIO vs. EXO) were evaluated. Later, to assess device agreement for ankle plantarflexion (PF), 10 subjects (4 M/6 F) completed 3 test conditions (BIO, EXO, and BIOEXO); BIOEXO was a hybrid condition comprised of the Biodex dynamometer motor and the X1 footplate and ankle frame. Ankle comparisons were: BIO vs. BIOEXO (footplate differences), BIOEXO vs. EXO (motor differences), and BIO vs. EXO (all differences). Reliability for KE/KF was determined by intraclass correlation (ICC). Device agreement was assessed with: 1) repeated measures ANOVA, 2) a measure of concordance (rho), and 3) average difference. RESULTS: ICCs for KE/KF were 0.99 for BIO and 0.96 to 0.99 for EXO. Agreement was high for KE (concordance: 0.86 to 0.95; average differences: -7 to +9 Nm) and low to moderate for KF (concordance: 0.64 to 0.78; average differences: -4 to -29 Nm, P<0.05). BIO vs. BIOEXO PF concordance ranged from 0.89 to 0.92 and mean differences ranged from -9 to +3 Nm (BIO < BIOEXO). BIOEXO vs. EXO PF concordance ranged from 0.73 to 0.80 while mean differences were -18 to -36 Nm (BIOEXO < EXO, P<0.05). PF concordance for BIO vs. EXO was slightly lower (0.61 to 0.84) and mean differences were greater (-27 to -33 Nm; BIO < EXO, P<0.05). CONCLUSION: BIO and EXO were similarly reliable for KE and KF. KE measures produced

  8. Surface EMG pattern recognition for real-time control of a wrist exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khokhar Zeeshan O

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Surface electromyography (sEMG signals have been used in numerous studies for the classification of hand gestures and movements and successfully implemented in the position control of different prosthetic hands for amputees. sEMG could also potentially be used for controlling wearable devices which could assist persons with reduced muscle mass, such as those suffering from sarcopenia. While using sEMG for position control, estimation of the intended torque of the user could also provide sufficient information for an effective force control of the hand prosthesis or assistive device. This paper presents the use of pattern recognition to estimate the torque applied by a human wrist and its real-time implementation to control a novel two degree of freedom wrist exoskeleton prototype (WEP, which was specifically developed for this work. Methods Both sEMG data from four muscles of the forearm and wrist torque were collected from eight volunteers by using a custom-made testing rig. The features that were extracted from the sEMG signals included root mean square (rms EMG amplitude, autoregressive (AR model coefficients and waveform length. Support Vector Machines (SVM was employed to extract classes of different force intensity from the sEMG signals. After assessing the off-line performance of the used classification technique, the WEP was used to validate in real-time the proposed classification scheme. Results The data gathered from the volunteers were divided into two sets, one with nineteen classes and the second with thirteen classes. Each set of data was further divided into training and testing data. It was observed that the average testing accuracy in the case of nineteen classes was about 88% whereas the average accuracy in the case of thirteen classes reached about 96%. Classification and control algorithm implemented in the WEP was executed in less than 125 ms. Conclusions The results of this study showed that

  9. Effects of CO2-induced pH reduction on the exoskeleton structure and biophotonic properties of the shrimp Lysmata californica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jennifer R A; Gilleard, Jasmine M; Allen, Michael C; Deheyn, Dimitri D

    2015-06-01

    The anticipated effects of CO2-induced ocean acidification on marine calcifiers are generally negative, and include dissolution of calcified elements and reduced calcification rates. Such negative effects are not typical of crustaceans for which comparatively little ocean acidification research has been conducted. Crustaceans, however, depend on their calcified exoskeleton for many critical functions. Here, we conducted a short-term study on a common caridean shrimp, Lysmata californica, to determine the effect of CO2-driven reduction in seawater pH on exoskeleton growth, structure, and mineralization and animal cryptic coloration. Shrimp exposed to ambient (7.99 ± 0.04) and reduced pH (7.53 ± 0.06) for 21 days showed no differences in exoskeleton growth (percent increase in carapace length), but the calcium weight percent of their cuticle increased significantly in reduced pH conditions, resulting in a greater Ca:Mg ratio. Cuticle thickness did not change, indicating an increase in the mineral to matrix ratio, which may have mechanical consequences for exoskeleton function. Furthermore, there was a 5-fold decrease in animal transparency, but no change in overall shrimp coloration (red). These results suggest that even short-term exposure to CO2-induced pH reduction can significantly affect exoskeleton mineralization and shrimp biophotonics, with potential impacts on crypsis, physical defense, and predator avoidance.

  10. Mechanical design of a distal arm exoskeleton for stroke and spinal cord injury rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Ali Utku; Celik, Ozkan; O'Malley, Marcia K

    2011-01-01

    Robotic rehabilitation has gained significant traction in recent years, due to the clinical demonstration of its efficacy in restoring function for upper extremity movements and locomotor skills, demonstrated primarily in stroke populations. In this paper, we present the design of MAHI Exo II, a robotic exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of upper extremity after stroke, spinal cord injury, or other brain injuries. The five degree-of-freedom robot enables elbow flexion-extension, forearm pronation-supination, wrist flexion-extension, and radial-ulnar deviation. The device offers several significant design improvements compared to its predecessor, MAHI Exo I. Specifically, issues with backlash and singularities in the wrist mechanism have been resolved, torque output has been increased in the forearm and elbow joints, a passive degree of freedom has been added to allow shoulder abduction thereby improving alignment especially for users who are wheelchair-bound, and the hardware now enables simplified and fast swapping of treatment side. These modifications are discussed in the paper, and results for the range of motion and maximum torque output capabilities of the new design and its predecessor are presented. The efficacy of the MAHI Exo II will soon be validated in a series of clinical evaluations with both stroke and spinal cord injury patients. © 2011 IEEE

  11. Sensing Pressure Distribution on a Lower-Limb Exoskeleton Physical Human-Machine Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Chiara Carrozza

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A sensory apparatus to monitor pressure distribution on the physical human-robot interface of lower-limb exoskeletons is presented. We propose a distributed measure of the interaction pressure over the whole contact area between the user and the machine as an alternative measurement method of human-robot interaction. To obtain this measure, an array of newly-developed soft silicone pressure sensors is inserted between the limb and the mechanical interface that connects the robot to the user, in direct contact with the wearer’s skin. Compared to state-of-the-art measures, the advantage of this approach is that it allows for a distributed measure of the interaction pressure, which could be useful for the assessment of safety and comfort of human-robot interaction. This paper presents the new sensor and its characterization, and the development of an interaction measurement apparatus, which is applied to a lower-limb rehabilitation robot. The system is calibrated, and an example its use during a prototypical gait training task is presented.

  12. Predicting Targets of Human Reaching Motions With an Arm Rehabilitation Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Domen; Riener, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation robots physically support patients during exercise, but their assistive strategies often constrain patients by forcing them to execute predefined motions. To allow more freedom during rehabilitation, the robot should be able to predict what motion the patient wants to perform, then intelligently support the motion. As a first step, this paper presents an algorithm that predicts targets of reaching motions made with an arm rehabilitation exoskeleton. Different sensing modalities are compared with regard to their predictive abilities: arm kinematics, eye tracking, contextual information, and combinations of these modalities. Supervised machine learning is used to make predictions at different points of time during the motion. Results of offline crossvalidation using 12 healthy subjects show that eye tracking can make target predictions earlier and more accurately than arm kinematics, especially when possible targets are close together. Combining eye tracking with contextual information further improves prediction accuracy. The foreseen next step is to use our predictions to guide the rehabilitation robot, and then test the algorithm in real-time with stroke patients.

  13. Design and Evaluation of the AIRGAIT Exoskeleton: Leg Orthosis Control for Assistive Gait Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd Azuwan Mat Dzahir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces the body weight support gait training system known as the AIRGAIT exoskeleton and delves into the design and evaluation of its leg orthosis control algorithm. The implementation of the mono- and biarticular pneumatic muscle actuators (PMAs as the actuation system was initiated to generate more power and precisely control the leg orthosis. This research proposes a simple paradigm for controlling the mono- and bi-articular actuator movements cocontractively by introducing a cocontraction model. Three tests were performed. The first test involved control of the orthosis with monoarticular actuators alone without a subject (WO/S; the second involved control of the orthosis with mono- and bi-articular actuators tested WO/S; and the third test involved control of the orthosis with mono- and bi-articular actuators tested with a subject (W/S. Full body weight support (BWS was implemented in this study during the test W/S as the load supported by the orthosis was at its maximum capacity. This assessment will optimize the control system strategy so that the system operates to its full capacity. The results revealed that the proposed control strategy was able to co-contractively actuate the mono- and bi-articular actuators simultaneously and increase stiffness at both hip and knee joints.

  14. A novel FES control paradigm based on muscle synergies for postural rehabilitation therapy with hybrid exoskeletons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, S; Torricelli, D; Brunetti, F; del-Ama, A J; Gil-Agudo, A; Pons, J L

    2012-01-01

    Hybrid exoskeletons combine robotic orthoses and motor neuroprosthetic devices to compensate for motor disabilities and assist rehabilitation. The basic idea is to take benefits from the strength of each technology, primarily the power of robotic actuators and the clinical advantages of using patient's muscles, while compensating for the respective weaknesses: weight and autonomy for the former, fatigue and stability for the latter. While a wide repertory of solutions have been proposed in literature for the control of robotic orthoses and simple motor neuroprosthesis, the same problem on a complex hybrid architecture, involving a wide number of muscles distributed on multiple articulations, still waits for a practical solution. In this article we present a general algorithm for the control of the neuroprosthesis in the execution of functional coordinated movements. The method extracts muscle synergies as a mean to diagnose residual neuromotor capabilities, and adapts the rehabilitation exercise to patient requirements in a dynamic way. Fatigue effects and unexpected perturbations are compensated by monitoring functional state variables estimated from sensors in the robot. The proposed concept is applied to a case-study scenario, in which a postural balance rehabilitation therapy is presented.

  15. Quantifying anti-gravity torques for the design of a powered exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragonesi, Daniel; Agrawal, Sunil K; Sample, Whitney; Rahman, Tariq

    2013-03-01

    Designing an upper extremity exoskeleton for people with arm weakness requires knowledge of the joint torques due to gravity and joint stiffness, as well as, active residual force capabilities of users. The objective of this research paper is to describe the characteristics of the upper limb of children with upper limb impairment. This paper describes the experimental measurements of the torque on the upper limb due to gravity and joint stiffness of three groups of subjects: able-bodied adults, able-bodied children, and children with neuromuscular disabilities. The experiment involves moving the arm to various positions in the sagittal plane and measuring the resultant force at the forearm. This force is then converted to torques at the elbow and shoulder. These data are compared to a two-link lumped mass model based on anthropomorphic data. Results show that the torques based on anthropometry deviate from experimentally measured torques as the arm goes through the range. Subjects with disabilities also maximally pushed and pulled against the force sensor to measure maximum strength as a function of arm orientation. For all subjects, the maximum voluntary applied torque at the shoulder and elbow in the sagittal plane was found to be lower than gravity torques throughout the disabled subjects' range of motion. This experiment informs designers of upper limb orthoses on the contribution of passive human joint torques due to gravity and joint stiffness and the strength capability of targeted users.

  16. Design and Characterization of an Exoskeleton for Perturbing the Knee During Gait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Michael R; Shirota, Camila; Lambercy, Olivier; Sulzer, James S; Gassert, Roger

    2017-10-01

    An improved understanding of mechanical impedance modulation in human joints would provide insights about the neuromechanics underlying functional movements. Experimental estimation of impedance requires specialized tools with highly reproducible perturbation dynamics and reliable measurement capabilities. This paper presents the design and mechanical characterization of the ETH Knee Perturbator: an actuated exoskeleton for perturbing the knee during gait. A novel wearable perturbation device was developed based on specific experimental objectives. Bench-top tests validated the device's torque limiting capability and characterized the time delays of the on-board clutch. Further tests demonstrated the device's ability to perform system identification on passive loads with static initial conditions. Finally, the ability of the device to consistently perturb human gait was evaluated through a pilot study on three unimpaired subjects. The ETH Knee Perturbator is capable of identifying mass-spring systems within 15% accuracy, accounting for over 95% of the variance in the observed torque in 10 out of 16 cases. Five-degree extension and flexion perturbations were executed on human subjects with an onset timing precision of 2.52% of swing phase duration and a rise time of 36.5 ms. The ETH Knee Perturbator can deliver safe, precisely timed, and controlled perturbations, which is a prerequisite for the estimation of knee joint impedance during gait. Tools such as this can enhance models of neuromuscular control, which may improve rehabilitative outcomes following impairments affecting gait and advance the design and control of assistive devices.

  17. Outcome Measures with COPM of Children using a Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton

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    Tracy M. Shank

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX is a body-powered, four degrees of freedom orthosis that allows gravity-minimized movement of the arm at the shoulder and elbow. We sought to measure patient satisfaction and performance with use of the WREX during activities of daily living, play, and at school. Method: Twenty-five families completed a phone interview based on the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM. These families all had a child, aged 2 to 21years, who had a neuromuscular disorder and who had used the WREX for at least eight months. The parents rated their child’s performance of and satisfaction with important activities both with and without the WREX. The scores were assessed for change between the two conditions. Results: Twenty-four out of the 25 parents reported that their child had greater levels of performance and satisfaction when they were wearing the WREX. The mean change in performance score was 3.61 points, and the mean change in satisfaction score was 4.44 points. Conclusion: Families who have a child diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder and who uses the WREX perceived improved performance and satisfaction with the WREX during self-chosen meaningful activities.

  18. Adaptive Control of a Wearable Exoskeleton for Upper-Extremity Neurorehabilitation

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    Sivakumar Balasubramanian

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the implementation and testing of two adaptive controllers developed for a wearable, underactuated upper extremity therapy robot – RUPERT (Robotic Upper Extremity Repetitive Trainer. The controllers developed in this study were used to implement two adaptive robotic therapy modes – the adaptive co-operative mode and the adaptive active-assist mode – that are based on two different approaches for providing robotic assistance for task practice. The adaptive active-assist mode completes therapy tasks when a subject is unable to do so voluntarily. This robotic therapy mode is a novel implementation of the idea of an active-assist therapy mode; it utilizes the measure of a subject’s motor ability, along with their real-time movement kinematics to initiate robotic assistance at the appropriate time during a movement trial. The adaptive co-operative mode, on the other hand, is based on the idea of enabling task completion instead of completing the task for the subject. Both these therapy modes were designed to adapt to a stroke subject's motor ability, and thus encourage voluntary participation from the stroke subject. The two controllers were tested on three stroke subjects practicing robot-assisted reaching movements. The results from this testing demonstrate that an underactuated wearable exoskeleton, such as RUPERT, can be used for administering robot-assisted therapy, in a manner that encourages voluntary participation from the subject undergoing therapy.

  19. Design of a clinically relevant upper-limb exoskeleton robot for stroke patients with spasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dong Jin; Bae, Sung Jin; Jang, Sung Ho; Chang, Pyung Hun

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of this research is to propose a design of a clinically relevant upper-limb (hand, wrist, and elbow) exoskeleton that meets the clinical requirements. At first, the proposed robot was designed to have sufficient torque for passive exercise therapy and spasticity measurement of post-stroke patients with spasticity (grade 3 or lower in Modified Ashworth Scale). Because the therapy of patients with high level spasticity could be laborious for therapists by increased muscle tone, and the patients tend not to get enough rehabilitation treatment. Secondly, this robot was designed to have user friendly features like as modularity, so that users have easy approach to assemble and disassemble for practical use. Thirdly, this robot system was designed to guarantee the safety for robot-aided passive training of patients with spasticity. As a result, we were able to see the usability of the robot system, even though it was a pilot test. This shows the possibility of measuring and classifying the spasticity.

  20. Suitability of Hydraulic Disk Brakes for Passive Actuation of Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation Exoskeleton

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    Arno H. A. Stienen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Passive, energy-dissipating actuators are promising for force-coordination training in stroke rehabilitation, as they are inherently safe and have a high torque-to-weight ratio. The goal of this study is to determine if hydraulic disk brakes are suitable to actuate an upper-extremity exoskeleton, for application in rehabilitation settings. Passive actuation with friction brakes has direct implications for joint control. Braking is always opposite to the movement direction. During standstill, the measured torque is equal to the torque applied by the human. During rotations, it is equal to the brake torque. Actively assisting movement is not possible, nor are energy-requiring virtual environments. The evaluated disk brake has a 20 Nm bandwidth (flat-spectrum, multi-sine of 10 Hz; sufficient for torques required for conventional therapy and simple, passive virtual environments. The maximum static output torque is 120 Nm, sufficient for isometric training of the upper extremity. The minimal impedance is close zero, with only the inertia of the device felt. In conclusion, hydraulic disk brakes are suitable for rehabilitation devices.

  1. A myocontrolled neuroprosthesis integrated with a passive exoskeleton to support upper limb activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosini, Emilia; Ferrante, Simona; Schauer, Thomas; Klauer, Christian; Gaffuri, Marina; Ferrigno, Giancarlo; Pedrocchi, Alessandra

    2014-04-01

    This work aimed at designing a myocontrolled arm neuroprosthesis for both assistive and rehabilitative purposes. The performance of an adaptive linear prediction filter and a high-pass filter to estimate the volitional EMG was evaluated on healthy subjects (N=10) and neurological patients (N=8) during dynamic hybrid biceps contractions. A significant effect of filter (p=0.017 for healthy; p<0.001 for patients) was obtained. The post hoc analysis revealed that for both groups only the adaptive filter was able to reliably detect the presence of a small volitional contribution. An on/off non-linear controller integrated with an exoskeleton for weight support was developed. The controller allowed the patient to activate/deactivate the stimulation intensity based on the residual EMG estimated by the adaptive filter. Two healthy subjects and 3 people with Spinal Cord Injury were asked to flex the elbow while tracking a trapezoidal target with and without myocontrolled-NMES support. Both healthy subjects and patients easily understood how to use the controller in a single session. Two patients reduced their tracking error by more than 60% with NMES support, while the last patient obtained a tracking error always comparable to the healthy subjects performance (<4°). This study proposes a reliable and feasible solution to combine NMES with voluntary effort. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Wilmington robotic exoskeleton: a novel device to maintain arm improvement in muscular disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haumont, Thierry; Rahman, Tariq; Sample, Whitney; M King, Marilyn; Church, Chris; Henley, John; Jayakumar, Shanmuga

    2011-01-01

    Upper-extremity movement is limited in individuals with muscular weakness. This paper describes a novel, articulated upper-extremity orthosis, the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), which helps people overcome this movement deficit. This prospective, case-controlled study involved an ambulatory patient with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and 2 nonambulatory patients with spinal muscular atrophy type II. The WREX uses elastic bands to negate the effects of gravity; it allows a person with neuromuscular weakness to move their arm in 3 dimensions. The WREX can be fixed on a brace for ambulatory patients and on the wheelchair for nonambulatory patients. Assessment was performed through motion analysis (with and without the WREX), clinical examination, and qualitative questionnaire. Motion analysis showed a marked improvement in upper-extremity function with the WREX. The questionnaire illustrated enhanced functionality with the WREX including self-feeding, fine motor control, and use of a television remote control. Enhanced functionality resulted in improved quality of life by increasing participation in school, raising self-esteem, and increasing social interaction. Two unexpected outcomes were increased security with trunk inclination and amelioration of the effects of contractures. The WREX provided an increase in functionality and improved the quality of life of the patients. The device has become an integral part of the lives of the 3 patients. Level III in Therapeutic Studies-Investigating the Results of Treatment.

  3. Wearable Gait Measurement System with an Instrumented Cane for Exoskeleton Control

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    Modar Hassan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this research we introduce a wearable sensory system for motion intention estimation and control of exoskeleton robot. The system comprises wearable inertial motion sensors and shoe-embedded force sensors. The system utilizes an instrumented cane as a part of the interface between the user and the robot. The cane reflects the motion of upper limbs, and is used in terms of human inter-limb synergies. The developed control system provides assisted motion in coherence with the motion of other unassisted limbs. The system utilizes the instrumented cane together with body worn sensors, and provides assistance for start, stop and continuous walking. We verified the function of the proposed method and the developed wearable system through gait trials on treadmill and on ground. The achievement contributes to finding an intuitive and feasible interface between human and robot through wearable gait sensors for practical use of assistive technology. It also contributes to the technology for cognitively assisted locomotion, which helps the locomotion of physically challenged people.

  4. BRIDGE - Behavioural reaching interfaces during daily antigravity activities through upper limb exoskeleton: Preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolla, Marta; Costa, Andrea; Aquilante, Lorenzo; Gfoehler, Margit; Puchinger, Markus; Braghin, Francesco; Pedrocchi, Alessandra

    2017-07-01

    People with neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy experience a distributed and evolutive weakness in the whole body. Recent technological developments have changed the daily life of disabled people strongly improving the perceived quality of life, mostly concentrating on powered wheelchairs, so to assure autonomous mobility and respiratory assistance, essential for survival. The key concept of the BRIDGE project is to contrast the everyday experience of losing functions by providing them of a system able to exploit the best their own residual capabilities in arm movements so to keep them functional and autonomous as much as possible. BRIDGE is composed by a light, wearable and powered five degrees of freedom upper limb exoskeleton under the direct control of the user through a joystick or gaze control. An inverse kinematic model allows to determine joints position so to track patient desired hand position. BRIDGE prototype has been successfully tested in simulation environment, and by a small group of healthy volunteers. Preliminary results show a good tracking performance of the implemented control scheme. The interaction procedure was easy to understand, and the interaction with the system was successful.

  5. Exoskeleton-Based Robotic Platform Applied in Biomechanical Modelling of the Human Upper Limb

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    Andres F. Ruiz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the approaches to study the human motor system, and specifically the motor strategies implied during postural tasks of the upper limbs, is to manipulate the mechanical conditions of each joint of the upper limbs independently. At the same time, it is essential to pick up biomechanical signals and bio-potentials generated while the human motor system adapts to the new condition. The aim of this paper is two-fold: first, to describe the design, development and validation of an experimental platform designed to modify or perturb the mechanics of human movement, and simultaneously acquire, process, display and quantify bioelectric and biomechanical signals; second, to characterise the dynamics of the elbow joint during postural control. A main goal of the study was to determine the feasibility of estimating human elbow joint dynamics using EMG-data during maintained posture. In particular, the experimental robotic platform provides data to correlate electromyographic (EMG activity, kinetics and kinematics information from the upper limb motion. The platform aims consists of an upper limb powered exoskeleton, an EMG acquisition module, a control unit and a software system. Important concerns of the platform such as dependability and safety were addressed in the development. The platform was evaluated with 4 subjects to identify, using system identification methods, the human joint dynamics, i.e. visco-elasticity. Results obtained in simulations and experimental phase are introduced.

  6. Changes of exoskeleton surface roughness and expression of crucial participation genes for chitin formation and digestion in the mud crab (Macrophthalmus japonicus) following the antifouling biocide irgarol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kiyun; Nikapitiya, Chamilani; Kim, Won-Seok; Kwak, Tae-Soo; Kwak, Ihn-Sil

    2016-10-01

    Irgarol is a common antifoulant present in coastal sediment. The mud crab Macrophthalmus japonicus is one of the most abundant of the macrobenthos in the costal environment, and its exoskeleton has a protective function against various environmental threats. We evaluated the effects of irgarol toxicity on the exoskeleton of M. japonicus, which is the outer layer facing the environment. We analyzed transcriptional expression of exoskeleton, molting, and proteolysis-related genes in the gill and hepatopancreas of these exposed M. japonicus. In addition, changes in survival and exoskeleton surface characteristics were investigated. In the hepatopancreas, mRNA expression of chitinase 1 (Mj-chi1), chitinase 4 (Mj-chi4), and chitinase 5 (Mj-chi5) increased in M. japonicus exposed to all concentrations of irgarol. Mj-chi1 and Mj-chi4 expressions from 1 to 10μgL(-1) were dose- and time-dependent. Ecdysteroid receptor (Mj-EcR), trypsin (Mj-Tryp), and serine proteinase (Mj-SP) in the hepatopancreas were upregulated in response to different exposure levels of irgarol at day 1, 4, or 7. In contrast, gill Mj-chi5, Mj-Tryp, and Mj-SP exhibited late upregulated responses to 10μgL(-1) irgarol compared to the control at day 7. Mj-chi1 showed early upregulation upon exposure to 10μgL(-1) irgarol and Mj-chi4 showed no changes in transcription in the gill. Gill Mj-EcR presented generally downregulated expression patterns. In addition, decreased survival and change of exoskeleton surface roughness were observed in M. japonicus exposed to the three concentrations of irgarol. These results suggest that exposure to irgarol induces changes in the exoskeleton, molting, and proteolysis metabolism of M. japonicus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Bio-inspired control of joint torque and knee stiffness in a robotic lower limb exoskeleton using a central pattern generator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrade, Stefan O; Nager, Yannik; Wu, Amy R; Gassert, Roger; Ijspeert, Auke

    2017-07-01

    Robotic lower limb exoskeletons are becoming increasingly popular in therapy and recreational use. However, most exoskeletons are still rather limited in their locomotion speed and the activities of daily live they can perform. Furthermore, they typically do not allow for a dynamic adaptation to the environment, as they are often controlled with predefined reference trajectories. Inspired by human leg stiffness modulation during walking, variable stiffness actuators increase flexibility without the need for more complex controllers. Actuation with adaptable stiffness is inspired by the human leg stiffness modulation during walking. However, this actuation principle also introduces the stiffness setpoint as an additional degree of freedom that needs to be coordinated with the joint trajectories. As a potential solution to this issue a bio-inspired controller based on a central pattern generator (CPG) is presented in this work. It generates coordinated joint torques and knee stiffness modulations to produce flexible and dynamic gait patterns for an exoskeleton with variable knee stiffness actuation. The CPG controller is evaluated and optimized in simulation using a model of the exoskeleton. The CPG controller produced stable and smooth gait for walking speeds from 0.4 m/s up to 1.57 m/s with a torso stabilizing force that simulated the use of crutches, which are commonly needed by exoskeleton users. Through the CPG, the knee stiffness intrinsically adapted to the frequency and phase of the gait, when the speed was changed. Additionally, it adjusted to changes in the environment in the form of uneven terrain by reacting to ground contact forces. This could allow future exoskeletons to be more adaptive to various environments, thus making ambulation more robust.

  8. A single-session preliminary evaluation of an affordable BCI-controlled arm exoskeleton and motor-proprioception platform

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    Ahmed Mohamed Elnady

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Traditional, hospital-based stroke rehabilitation can be labour-intensive and expensive. Furthermore, outcomes from rehabilitation are inconsistent across individuals and recovery is hard to predict. Given these uncertainties, numerous technological approaches have been tested in an effort to improve rehabilitation outcomes and reduce the cost of stroke rehabilitation. These techniques include brain-computer interface (BCI, robotic exoskeletons, functional electrical stimulation (FES, and proprioceptive feedback. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have combined all these approaches into a rehabilitation platform that facilitates goal-directed motor movements. Therefore, in this paper, we combined all these technologies to test the feasibility of using a BCI-driven exoskeleton with FES (robotic training device to facilitate motor task completion among individuals with stroke. The robotic training device operated to assist a predefined goal-directed motor task. Because it is hard to predict who can utilize this type of technology, we considered whether the ability to adapt skilled movements with proprioceptive feedback would predict who could learn to control a BCI driven robotic device. To accomplish this aim, we developed a motor task that requires proprioception for completion to assess motor-proprioception ability. Next, we tested the feasibility of robotic training system in individuals with chronic stroke (n = 9 and found that the training device was well tolerated by all the participants. Ability on the motor-proprioception task did not predict the time to completion of the BCI driven task. Both participants who could accurately target (n = 6 and those who could not (n = 3, were able to learn to control the BCI device, with each BCI trial lasting on average 2.47 minutes. Our results showed that the participants’ ability to use proprioception to control motor output did not affect their ability to use the BCI

  9. Gastrocnemius Myoelectric Control of a Robotic Hip Exoskeleton Can Reduce the User's Lower-Limb Muscle Activities at Push Off

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    Lorenzo Grazi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We present a novel assistive control strategy for a robotic hip exoskeleton for assisting hip flexion/extension, based on a proportional Electromyography (EMG strategy. The novelty of the proposed controller relies on the use of the Gastrocnemius Medialis (GM EMG signal instead of a hip flexor muscle, to control the hip flexion torque. This strategy has two main advantages: first, avoiding the placement of the EMG electrodes at the human–robot interface can reduce discomfort issues for the user and motion artifacts of the recorded signals; second, using a powerful signal for control, such as the GM, could improve the reliability of the control system. The control strategy has been tested on eight healthy subjects, walking with the robotic hip exoskeleton on the treadmill. We evaluated the controller performance and the effect of the assistance on muscle activities. The tuning of the assistance timing in the controller was subject dependent and varied across subjects. Two muscles could benefit more from the assistive strategy, namely the Rectus Femoris (directly assisted and the Tibialis Anterior (indirectly assisted. A significant correlation was found between the timing of the delivered assistance (i.e., synchronism with the biological hip torque, and reduction of the hip flexors muscular activity during walking; instead, no significant correlations were found for peak torque and peak power. Results suggest that the timing of the assistance is the most significant parameter influencing the effectiveness of the control strategy. The findings of this work could be important for future studies aimed at developing assistive strategies for walking assistance exoskeletons.

  10. Control of an Ambulatory Exoskeleton with a Brain-Machine Interface for Spinal Cord Injury Gait Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Larraz, Eduardo; Trincado-Alonso, Fernando; Rajasekaran, Vijaykumar; Pérez-Nombela, Soraya; Del-Ama, Antonio J; Aranda, Joan; Minguez, Javier; Gil-Agudo, Angel; Montesano, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The closed-loop control of rehabilitative technologies by neural commands has shown a great potential to improve motor recovery in patients suffering from paralysis. Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) can be used as a natural control method for such technologies. BMI provides a continuous association between the brain activity and peripheral stimulation, with the potential to induce plastic changes in the nervous system. Paraplegic patients, and especially the ones with incomplete injuries, constitute a potential target population to be rehabilitated with brain-controlled robotic systems, as they may improve their gait function after the reinforcement of their spared intact neural pathways. This paper proposes a closed-loop BMI system to control an ambulatory exoskeleton-without any weight or balance support-for gait rehabilitation of incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. The integrated system was validated with three healthy subjects, and its viability in a clinical scenario was tested with four SCI patients. Using a cue-guided paradigm, the electroencephalographic signals of the subjects were used to decode their gait intention and to trigger the movements of the exoskeleton. We designed a protocol with a special emphasis on safety, as patients with poor balance were required to stand and walk. We continuously monitored their fatigue and exertion level, and conducted usability and user-satisfaction tests after the experiments. The results show that, for the three healthy subjects, 84.44 ± 14.56% of the trials were correctly decoded. Three out of four patients performed at least one successful BMI session, with an average performance of 77.6 1 ± 14.72%. The shared control strategy implemented (i.e., the exoskeleton could only move during specific periods of time) was effective in preventing unexpected movements during periods in which patients were asked to relax. On average, 55.22 ± 16.69% and 40.45 ± 16.98% of the trials (for healthy subjects and

  11. Hybrid neuroprosthesis for the upper limb: combining brain-controlled neuromuscular stimulation with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton

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    Florian Grimm

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Brain-machine interface-controlled (BMI neurofeedback training aims to modulate cortical physiology and is applied during neurorehabilitation to increase the responsiveness of the brain to subsequent physiotherapy. In a parallel line of research, robotic exoskeletons are used in goal-oriented rehabilitation exercises for patients with severe motor impairment to extend their range of motion and the intensity of training. Furthermore, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES is applied in neurologically impaired patients to restore muscle strength by closing the sensorimotor loop. In this proof-of-principle study, we explored an integrated approach for providing assistance as needed to amplify the task-related range of motion and the movement-related brain modulation during rehabilitation exercises of severely impaired patients. For this purpose, we combined these three approaches (BMI, NMES, and exoskeleton in an integrated neuroprosthesis and studied the feasibility of this device in seven severely affected chronic stroke patients who performed wrist flexion and extension exercises while receiving feedback via a virtual environment. They were assisted by a gravity-compensating, seven degree-of-freedom exoskeleton which was attached to the paretic arm. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation was applied to the wrist extensor and flexor muscles during the exercises and was controlled by a hybrid BMI based on both sensorimotor cortical desynchronization (ERD and electromyography (EMG activity. The stimulation intensity was individualized for each targeted muscle and remained subthreshold, i.e. induced no overt support. The hybrid BMI controlled the stimulation significantly better than the offline analyzed ERD (p=0.028 or EMG (p=0.021 modality alone. Neuromuscular stimulation could be well integrated into the exoskeleton-based training and amplified both the task-related range of motion (p=0.009 and the movement-related brain modulation (p=0

  12. Inter-rater reliability of kinesthetic measurements with the KINARM robotic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semrau, Jennifer A; Herter, Troy M; Scott, Stephen H; Dukelow, Sean P

    2017-05-22

    Kinesthesia (sense of limb movement) has been extremely difficult to measure objectively, especially in individuals who have survived a stroke. The development of valid and reliable measurements for proprioception is important to developing a better understanding of proprioceptive impairments after stroke and their impact on the ability to perform daily activities. We recently developed a robotic task to evaluate kinesthetic deficits after stroke and found that the majority (~60%) of stroke survivors exhibit significant deficits in kinesthesia within the first 10 days post-stroke. Here we aim to determine the inter-rater reliability of this robotic kinesthetic matching task. Twenty-five neurologically intact control subjects and 15 individuals with first-time stroke were evaluated on a robotic kinesthetic matching task (KIN). Subjects sat in a robotic exoskeleton with their arms supported against gravity. In the KIN task, the robot moved the subjects' stroke-affected arm at a preset speed, direction and distance. As soon as subjects felt the robot begin to move their affected arm, they matched the robot movement with the unaffected arm. Subjects were tested in two sessions on the KIN task: initial session and then a second session (within an average of 18.2 ± 13.8 h of the initial session for stroke subjects), which were supervised by different technicians. The task was performed both with and without the use of vision in both sessions. We evaluated intra-class correlations of spatial and temporal parameters derived from the KIN task to determine the reliability of the robotic task. We evaluated 8 spatial and temporal parameters that quantify kinesthetic behavior. We found that the parameters exhibited moderate to high intra-class correlations between the initial and retest conditions (Range, r-value = [0.53-0.97]). The robotic KIN task exhibited good inter-rater reliability. This validates the KIN task as a reliable, objective method for quantifying

  13. PSO-SVM-Based Online Locomotion Mode Identification for Rehabilitation Robotic Exoskeletons

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    Yi Long

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Locomotion mode identification is essential for the control of a robotic rehabilitation exoskeletons. This paper proposes an online support vector machine (SVM optimized by particle swarm optimization (PSO to identify different locomotion modes to realize a smooth and automatic locomotion transition. A PSO algorithm is used to obtain the optimal parameters of SVM for a better overall performance. Signals measured by the foot pressure sensors integrated in the insoles of wearable shoes and the MEMS-based attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS attached on the shoes and shanks of leg segments are fused together as the input information of SVM. Based on the chosen window whose size is 200 ms (with sampling frequency of 40 Hz, a three-layer wavelet packet analysis (WPA is used for feature extraction, after which, the kernel principal component analysis (kPCA is utilized to reduce the dimension of the feature set to reduce computation cost of the SVM. Since the signals are from two types of different sensors, the normalization is conducted to scale the input into the interval of [0, 1]. Five-fold cross validation is adapted to train the classifier, which prevents the classifier over-fitting. Based on the SVM model obtained offline in MATLAB, an online SVM algorithm is constructed for locomotion mode identification. Experiments are performed for different locomotion modes and experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm with an accuracy of 96.00% ± 2.45%. To improve its accuracy, majority vote algorithm (MVA is used for post-processing, with which the identification accuracy is better than 98.35% ± 1.65%. The proposed algorithm can be extended and employed in the field of robotic rehabilitation and assistance.

  14. Acetylation, crystalline and morphological properties of structural polysaccharide from shrimp exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.P. Gbenebor

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The extraction of a structural polysaccharide, α-chitin, from shrimp exoskeleton via chemical means using hydrochloric acid (HCl and sodium hydroxide (NaOH has been done. Concentrations of 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 M for both HCl and NaOH were chosen to evaluate the acetylation degree (DA, crystalline structure and morphology of the chitin. The N-acetyl groups’ content in the structural polysaccharide ranged between 65.6 and 99.4% in decreasing order of both acid and alkali concentrations combination used. The magnitude of chitin average hydrogen bond energy EH was majorly influenced by OH(6…OC intra and CO…HN intermolecular hydrogen bonds as they showed more predominance than OH(3…O(5 and OH…OC intra and intermolecular hydrogen bonds. Chitin diffraction planes, crystalline index (Crl and crystallite size (Dhkl were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD with reflections observed on (021, (110, (130 and (013 planes. The Crl occurred between 79.4 and 87.4%, while crystallite sizes were between 0.544 and 3.64 Å for the samples. Morphological study using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy SEM/EDS showed strong calcium and oxygen peaks. This established the shrimp shell surface to be composed of calcite and trace elements such as nitrogen and silicon. The observed α-chitin rough surfaces were attributed to the low degree deacetylation recorded during alkali treatment.

  15. Positive effects of robotic exoskeleton training of upper limb reaching movements after stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    This study, conducted in a group of nine chronic patients with right-side hemiparesis after stroke, investigated the effects of a robotic-assisted rehabilitation training with an upper limb robotic exoskeleton for the restoration of motor function in spatial reaching movements. The robotic assisted rehabilitation training was administered for a period of 6 weeks including reaching and spatial antigravity movements. To assess the carry-over of the observed improvements in movement during training into improved function, a kinesiologic assessment of the effects of the training was performed by means of motion and dynamic electromyographic analysis of reaching movements performed before and after training. The same kinesiologic measurements were performed in a healthy control group of seven volunteers, to determine a benchmark for the experimental observations in the patients’ group. Moreover degree of functional impairment at the enrolment and discharge was measured by clinical evaluation with upper limb Fugl-Meyer Assessment scale (FMA, 0–66 points), Modified Ashworth scale (MA, 0–60 pts) and active ranges of motion. The robot aided training induced, independently by time of stroke, statistical significant improvements of kinesiologic (movement time, smoothness of motion) and clinical (4.6 ± 4.2 increase in FMA, 3.2 ± 2.1 decrease in MA) parameters, as a result of the increased active ranges of motion and improved co-contraction index for shoulder extension/flexion. Kinesiologic parameters correlated significantly with clinical assessment values, and their changes after the training were affected by the direction of motion (inward vs. outward movement) and position of target to be reached (ipsilateral, central and contralateral peripersonal space). These changes can be explained as a result of the motor recovery induced by the robotic training, in terms of regained ability to execute single joint movements and of improved interjoint coordination of

  16. Positive effects of robotic exoskeleton training of upper limb reaching movements after stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frisoli Antonio

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study, conducted in a group of nine chronic patients with right-side hemiparesis after stroke, investigated the effects of a robotic-assisted rehabilitation training with an upper limb robotic exoskeleton for the restoration of motor function in spatial reaching movements. The robotic assisted rehabilitation training was administered for a period of 6 weeks including reaching and spatial antigravity movements. To assess the carry-over of the observed improvements in movement during training into improved function, a kinesiologic assessment of the effects of the training was performed by means of motion and dynamic electromyographic analysis of reaching movements performed before and after training. The same kinesiologic measurements were performed in a healthy control group of seven volunteers, to determine a benchmark for the experimental observations in the patients’ group. Moreover degree of functional impairment at the enrolment and discharge was measured by clinical evaluation with upper limb Fugl-Meyer Assessment scale (FMA, 0–66 points, Modified Ashworth scale (MA, 0–60 pts and active ranges of motion. The robot aided training induced, independently by time of stroke, statistical significant improvements of kinesiologic (movement time, smoothness of motion and clinical (4.6 ± 4.2 increase in FMA, 3.2 ± 2.1 decrease in MA parameters, as a result of the increased active ranges of motion and improved co-contraction index for shoulder extension/flexion. Kinesiologic parameters correlated significantly with clinical assessment values, and their changes after the training were affected by the direction of motion (inward vs. outward movement and position of target to be reached (ipsilateral, central and contralateral peripersonal space. These changes can be explained as a result of the motor recovery induced by the robotic training, in terms of regained ability to execute single joint movements and of improved

  17. A pediatric robotic thumb exoskeleton for at-home rehabilitation: the Isolated Orthosis for Thumb Actuation (IOTA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubin, Patrick M; Sallum, Hani; Walsh, Conor; Stirling, Leia; Correia, Annette

    2013-06-01

    In this paper, we present the design of a thumb exoskeleton for pediatric at-home rehabilitation. Pediatric disorders, such as cerebral palsy (CP) and stroke, can result in thumb in palm deformity greatly limiting hand function. This not only limits children's ability to perform activities of daily living but also limits important motor skill development. Specifically, the device, dubbed IOTA (Isolated Orthosis for Thumb Actuation) is a 2-DOF thumb exoskeleton that can actuate the carpometacarpal (CMC) and metacarpalphalangeal (MCP) joints through ranges of motion required for activities of daily living. The device consists of a lightweight hand-mounted mechanism that can be custom secured and aligned to the wearer. The mechanism is actuated via flexible cables that connect to a portable control box. Embedded encoders and bend sensors monitor the two degrees of freedom of the thumb and flexion/extension of the wrist. Using this platform, a number of control modes can be implemented that will enable the device to be intuitively controlled by a patient to assist with opposition grasp, fine motor control, and ultimately facilitate motor recovery. We envision this at-home device augmenting the current in-clinic therapy and enabling tele-rehabilitation where a clinician can remotely monitor a patient's usage and performance.

  18. Constraining upper limb synergies of hemiparetic patients using a robotic exoskeleton in the perspective of neuro-rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crocher, Vincent; Sahbani, Anis; Robertson, Johanna; Roby-Brami, Agnès; Morel, Guillaume

    2012-05-01

    The aim of this paper was to explore how an upper limb exoskeleton can be programmed to impose specific joint coordination patterns during rehabilitation. Based on rationale which emphasizes the importance of the quality of movement coordination in the motor relearning process, a robot controller was developed with the aim of reproducing the individual corrections imposed by a physical therapist on a hemiparetic patient during pointing movements. The approach exploits a description of the joint synergies using principal component analysis (PCA) on joint velocities. This mathematical tool is used both to characterize the patient's movements, with or without the assistance of a physical therapist, and to program the exoskeleton during active-assisted exercises. An original feature of this controller is that the hand trajectory is not imposed on the patient: only the coordination law is modified. Experiments with hemiparetic patients using this new active-assisted mode were conducted. Obtained results demonstrate that the desired inter-joint coordination was successfully enforced, without significantly modifying the trajectory of the end point.

  19. WAKE-Up Exoskeleton to Assist Children With Cerebral Palsy: Design and Preliminary Evaluation in Level Walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patane, Fabrizio; Rossi, Stefano; Del Sette, Fausto; Taborri, Juri; Cappa, Paolo

    2017-07-01

    This paper presents the modular design and control of a novel compliant lower limbmulti-joint exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of ankle kneemobility and locomotion of pediatric patients with neurological diseases, such as Cerebral Palsy (CP). The device consists of an untethered powered knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO), addressed as WAKE-up (Wearable Ankle Knee Exoskeleton), characterized by a position control and capable of operating synchronously and synergistically with the human musculoskeletal system. The WAKE-up mechanical system, control architecture and feature extraction are described. Two test benches were used to mechanically characterize the device. The full system showed a maximum value of hysteresis equal to 8.8% and a maximum torque of 5.6 N m/rad. A pre-clinical use was performed, without body weight support, by four typically developing children and three children with CP. The aims were twofold: 1) to test the structure under weight-bearing conditions and 2) to ascertain its ability to provide appropriate assistance to the ankle and the knee during overground walking in a real environment. Results confirm the effectiveness of the WAKE-up design in providing torque assistance in accordance to the volitionalmovements especially in the recovery of correct foot landing at the start of the gait cycle.

  20. Functional impacts of exoskeleton-based rehabilitation in chronic stroke: multi-joint versus single-joint robotic training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimaldi, Giuliana; Manto, Mario

    2013-12-19

    Stroke is a major cause of disability in the world. The activities of upper limb segments are often compromised following a stroke, impairing most daily tasks. Robotic training is now considered amongst the rehabilitation methods applied to promote functional recovery. However, the implementation of robotic devices remains a major challenge for the bioengineering and clinical community. Latest exoskeletons with multiple degrees of freedom (DOF) may become particularly attractive, because of their low apparent inertia, the multiple actuators generating large torques, and the fact that patients can move the arm in the normal wide workspace. A recent study published in JNER by Milot and colleagues underlines that training with a 6-DOF exoskeleton impacts positively on motor function in patients being in stable phase of recovery after a stroke. Also, multi-joint robotic training was not found to be superior to single-joint robotic training. Although it is often considered that rehabilitation should start from simple movements to complex functional movements as the recovery evolves, this study challenges this widespread notion whose scientific basis has remained uncertain.

  1. [Usability and acceptability of portable exoskeletons for gait training in subjects with spinal cord injury: a systematic review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardomingo-Medialdea, H; Fernandez-Gonzalez, P; Molina-Rueda, F

    2018-01-16

    Spinal cord injury limits severely life expectancy and it causes in a restriction in the activities of the daily life of the subjects who suffer it. Training the gait with portable exoskeletons in subjects with spinal cord injury is a new approach to rehabilitation. To examine the usability and acceptability of these devices for gait training in subjects with spinal cord injury. A literature search was conducted until February 2017 in the databases: Medline (PubMed, EBSCO), PEDro, Scopus and Web of Science. The methodological quality, the level of scientific evidence and the strength of recommendation were evaluated. Finally, eight studies were considered recruiting a total of 45 patients. The training programs had an average of 35 sessions and a duration 60 minutes approximately. In general, no adverse events and no relevant increases in pain, blood pressure, heart rate or fatigue were reported. In addition, the satisfaction with the intervention and the perception of quality of life of the participants were quite high. The rehabilitation of the gait with portable exoskeletons seems to be a safe intervention that generates acceptance and satisfaction among patients with spinal cord injury.

  2. Biomechanical study of upper-limb exoskeleton for resistance training with three-dimensional motion analysis system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tzong-Ming; Chen, Dar-Zen

    2014-01-01

    The world's population is aging rapidly, particularly in developed countries. The trend toward prolonged life expectancy will increase the elderly population and thereby lead to an increase in occurrences of age-related health problems such as chronic disease. Healthcare services and home-based rehabilitation are in high demand, and the demand for professional physical therapy is imposing an increasing burden on the healthcare system. Rehabilitation training devices must keep pace with standards of care, be cost effective, and meet the home-based training requirements of today's rehabilitation trends. This article presents an experimental study of a novel spring-loaded upper-limb exoskeleton meant to enable a patient or nondisabled individual to move a limb at multiple joints in different planes for resistance training in a free and unconstrained environment. To assess the functionality of the design, we have measured its kinematic data while performing designated movements and adopted a motion-capture system to verify the function of our mechanism. The collected data and analysis of the kinematic and dynamic joint torques may not only verify our mechanism but also provide a profound understanding of the design requirements for an appropriate spring-loaded exoskeleton for upper-limb resistance training.

  3. An EMG-driven exoskeleton hand robotic training device on chronic stroke subjects: task training system for stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, N S K; Tong, K Y; Hu, X L; Fung, K L; Wei, X J; Rong, W; Susanto, E A

    2011-01-01

    An exoskeleton hand robotic training device is specially designed for persons after stroke to provide training on their impaired hand by using an exoskeleton robotic hand which is actively driven by their own muscle signals. It detects the stroke person's intention using his/her surface electromyography (EMG) signals from the hemiplegic side and assists in hand opening or hand closing functional tasks. The robotic system is made up of an embedded controller and a robotic hand module which can be adjusted to fit for different finger length. Eight chronic stroke subjects had been recruited to evaluate the effects of this device. The preliminary results showed significant improvement in hand functions (ARAT) and upper limb functions (FMA) after 20 sessions of robot-assisted hand functions task training. With the use of this light and portable robotic device, stroke patients can now practice more easily for the opening and closing of their hands at their own will, and handle functional daily living tasks at ease. A video is included together with this paper to give a demonstration of the hand robotic system on chronic stroke subjects and it will be presented in the conference. © 2011 IEEE

  4. Realization of Both High-Performance and Enhanced Durability of Fuel Cells: Pt-Exoskeleton Structure Electrocatalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ok-Hee; Cho, Yoon-Hwan; Jeon, Tae-Yeol; Kim, Jung Won; Cho, Yong-Hun; Sung, Yung-Eun

    2015-07-01

    Core-shell structure nanoparticles have been the subject of many studies over the past few years and continue to be studied as electrocatalysts for fuel cells. Therefore, many excellent core-shell catalysts have been fabricated, but few studies have reported the real application of these catalysts in a practical device actual application. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of platinum (Pt)-exoskeleton structure nanoparticles as cathode catalysts with high stability and remarkable Pt mass activity and report the outstanding performance of these materials when used in membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) within a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The stability and degradation characteristics of these materials were also investigated in single cells in an accelerated degradation test using load cycling, which is similar to the drive cycle of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell used in vehicles. The MEAs with Pt-exoskeleton structure catalysts showed enhanced performance throughout the single cell test and exhibited improved degradation ability that differed from that of a commercial Pt/C catalyst.

  5. Design of a Series Elastic- and Bowdencable-based actuation system for use as torque-=actuator in exoskeleton-type training

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veneman, J.F.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; Kruidhof, R.; van der Helm, F.C.T.; van der Kooij, Herman

    2005-01-01

    Common actuators have important drawbacks for use in an exoskeleton type of rehabilitation (training) robot. Either the actuators are heavy, complex or poor torque sources. A new actuation system is proposed and tested that combines a lightweight joint and a simple structure with adequate torque

  6. The Combined Effects of Body Weight Support and Gait Speed on Gait Related Muscle Activity : A Comparison between Walking in the Lokomat Exoskeleton and Regular Treadmill Walking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Kammen, Klaske; Boonstra, Annemarijke; Reinders-Messelink, Heleen; Otter, den Rob

    2014-01-01

    Background: For the development of specialized training protocols for robot assisted gait training, it is important to understand how the use of exoskeletons alters locomotor task demands, and how the nature and magnitude of these changes depend on training parameters. Therefore, the present study

  7. An integrated gait rehabilitation training based on Functional Electrical Stimulation cycling and overground robotic exoskeleton in complete spinal cord injury patients: Preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoleni, S; Battini, E; Rustici, A; Stampacchia, G

    2017-07-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of an integrated gait rehabilitation training based on Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)-cycling and overground robotic exoskeleton in a group of seven complete spinal cord injury patients on spasticity and patient-robot interaction. They underwent a robot-assisted rehabilitation training based on two phases: n=20 sessions of FES-cycling followed by n= 20 sessions of robot-assisted gait training based on an overground robotic exoskeleton. The following clinical outcome measures were used: Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) on spasticity, Penn Spasm Frequency Scale (PSFS), Spinal Cord Independence Measure Scale (SCIM), NRS on pain and International Spinal Cord Injury Pain Data Set (ISCI). Clinical outcome measures were assessed before (T0) after (T1) the FES-cycling training and after (T2) the powered overground gait training. The ability to walk when using exoskeleton was assessed by means of 10 Meter Walk Test (10MWT), 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT), Timed Up and Go test (TUG), standing time, walking time and number of steps. Statistically significant changes were found on the MAS score, NRS-spasticity, 6MWT, TUG, standing time and number of steps. The preliminary results of this study show that an integrated gait rehabilitation training based on FES-cycling and overground robotic exoskeleton in complete SCI patients can provide a significant reduction of spasticity and improvements in terms of patient-robot interaction.

  8. Extraction, partial characterization and evaluation of in vitro digestibility of the protein associated with the exoskeleton of white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Escobedo-Lozano, A.Y.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The need of new food sources to satisfy human requirements forces researchers to study any possible alternative supplies. Therefore this study aimed to explore the quality and digestibility evaluation of the protein fractions obtained as a by-product of processing the shrimp exoskeleton Litopenaeus vannamei. Shrimp exoskeletons were washed, they were dried, mincedand they were brought under acid hydrolysis and alkaline hydrolysis; released proteins were then precipitated and characterized. 496 g of demineralized exoskeleton were obtained from 1 kg of shrimp shell; out of these, 376 g corresponded to chitin and 120 g corresponded to protein Total protein content was 33.80 ± 0.34 %. The digestible protein fractions were 26.7 g and 92.1 g were insoluble proteins. Of this latter fraction, the largest proportion belonged to the scleroprotein type. The amino acid profile analysis from the recovered proteins indicated that there were present nine amino acids out of the ten essential ones, being leucine the one with the highest proportion. In vitro digestibility was shown to be up to an 83.7 %. Therefore, it was possible to conclude that the recovery of digestibleproteins from shrimp exoskeleton may be useful in diet formulation.

  9. An investigation into mechanical strength of exoskeleton of hydrothermal vent shrimp (Rimicaris exoculata) and shallow water shrimp (Pandalus platyceros) at elevated temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Devendra; Tomar, Vikas

    2015-04-01

    This investigation reports a comparison of the exoskeleton mechanical strength of deep sea shrimp species Rimicaris exoculata and shallow water shrimp species Pandalus platyceros at temperatures ranging from 25°C to 80°C using nanoindentation experiments. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observations suggest that both shrimp exoskeletons have the Bouligand structure. Differences in the structural arrangement and chemical composition of both shrimps are highlighted by SEM and EDX (Energy Dispersive X-ray) analyses. The variation in the elastic moduli with temperature is found to be correlated with the measured compositional differences. The reduced modulus of R. exoculata is 8.26±0.89GPa at 25°C that reduces to 7.61±0.65GPa at 80°C. The corresponding decrease in the reduced modulus of P. platyceros is from 27.38±2.3GPa at 25°C to 24.58±1.71GPa at 80°C. The decrease in reduced moduli as a function of temperature is found to be dependent on the extent of calcium based minerals in exoskeleton of both types of shrimp exoskeletons. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. A benchtop biorobotic platform for in vitro observation of muscle-tendon dynamics with parallel mechanical assistance from an elastic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Benjamin D; Vadakkeveedu, Siddarth; Sawicki, Gregory S

    2017-05-24

    We present a novel biorobotic framework comprised of a biological muscle-tendon unit (MTU) mechanically coupled to a feedback controlled robotic environment simulation that mimics in vivo inertial/gravitational loading and mechanical assistance from a parallel elastic exoskeleton. Using this system, we applied select combinations of biological muscle activation (modulated with rate-coded direct neural stimulation) and parallel elastic assistance (applied via closed-loop mechanical environment simulation) hypothesized to mimic human behavior based on previously published modeling studies. These conditions resulted in constant system-level force-length dynamics (i.e., stiffness), reduced biological loads, increased muscle excursion, and constant muscle average positive power output-all consistent with laboratory experiments on intact humans during exoskeleton assisted hopping. Mechanical assistance led to reduced estimated metabolic cost and MTU apparent efficiency, but increased apparent efficiency for the MTU+Exo system as a whole. Findings from this study suggest that the increased natural resonant frequency of the artificially stiffened MTU+Exo system, along with invariant movement frequencies, may underlie observed limits on the benefits of exoskeleton assistance. Our novel approach demonstrates that it is possible to capture the salient features of human locomotion with exoskeleton assistance in an isolated muscle-tendon preparation, and introduces a powerful new tool for detailed, direct examination of how assistive devices affect muscle-level neuromechanics and energetics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Assessment of body work condition by RULA method in a motor vehicle industry in order to design an effective exoskeleton system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Bahrami

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and aims : physical activities in occupations like handling, static and dynamic postures, sudden movements, and repetitive postures are amongst most important risk factors of Work related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs. There are many ergonomic methods for assessing WMSDs which can be used in different cases, but these assessments and analyses can not be beneficial by themselves and should be promoted with usable, practical suggestions to improve the work condition. Such quality is brought to this research paper by first assessing ergonomic risks level, resulted by postural stresses, with special emphasis on improper postures, forces and repeating and then using these information to design assisting device called exoskeleton for improving work condition and industrial tasks.   Methods: For assessing and analyzing upper body work condition, postures in 17 different tasks were analyzed by RULA (Rapid upper limb assessment method and a set of 60 worksheets were created out of them. Also biomechanical movement observation during normal tasks was done. Then HONDA company`s exoskeleton for lower body was analyzed and some design elements were extracted from it, to design an upper body exoskeleton based on the same design language.   Results: This Research shows that none of tasks were completely acceptable, and neck, trunk and legs were more affected by improper postures. There was no meaningful difference between right and left hand conditions in overall task and posture assessment. Research also shows dominant effect of force and repeat risk factors in tasks being harmful for upper body. Analyzing HONDA company`s exoskeleton shows the likelihood of success in upper body exoskeleton for improving work conditions and minimizing WMSDs.   Conclusion: Although redistribution or regular rotation of personnel, changing and optimizing work cycles and proper training might reduce WMSDs and improve work condition, but using an assisting device

  12. Evaluation of the effects of the Arm Light Exoskeleton on movement execution and muscle activities: a pilot study on healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirondini, Elvira; Coscia, Martina; Marcheschi, Simone; Roas, Gianluca; Salsedo, Fabio; Frisoli, Antonio; Bergamasco, Massimo; Micera, Silvestro

    2016-01-23

    Exoskeletons for lower and upper extremities have been introduced in neurorehabilitation because they can guide the patient's limb following its anatomy, covering many degrees of freedom and most of its natural workspace, and allowing the control of the articular joints. The aims of this study were to evaluate the possible use of a novel exoskeleton, the Arm Light Exoskeleton (ALEx), for robot-aided neurorehabilitation and to investigate the effects of some rehabilitative strategies adopted in robot-assisted training. We studied movement execution and muscle activities of 16 upper limb muscles in six healthy subjects, focusing on end-effector and joint kinematics, muscle synergies, and spinal maps. The subjects performed three dimensional point-to-point reaching movements, without and with the exoskeleton in different assistive modalities and control strategies. The results showed that ALEx supported the upper limb in all modalities and control strategies: it reduced the muscular activity of the shoulder's abductors and it increased the activity of the elbow flexors. The different assistive modalities favored kinematics and muscle coordination similar to natural movements, but the muscle activity during the movements assisted by the exoskeleton was reduced with respect to the movements actively performed by the subjects. Moreover, natural trajectories recorded from the movements actively performed by the subjects seemed to promote an activity of muscles and spinal circuitries more similar to the natural one. The preliminary analysis on healthy subjects supported the use of ALEx for post-stroke upper limb robotic assisted rehabilitation, and it provided clues on the effects of different rehabilitative strategies on movement and muscle coordination.

  13. Hybrid Assistive Limb Exoskeleton HAL in the Rehabilitation of Chronic Spinal Cord Injury: Proof of Concept; the Results in 21 Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Oliver; Grasmuecke, Dennis; Meindl, Renate C; Tegenthoff, Martin; Schwenkreis, Peter; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Wessling, Martin; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Fisahn, Christian; Aach, Mirko

    2017-12-14

    The use of mobile exoskeletons is becoming more and more common in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) rehabilitation. The hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton provides a tailored support depending on the patient's voluntary drive. After a pilot study in 2014 that included 8 patients with chronic SCI, this study of 21 patients with chronic SCI serves as a proof of concept. It was conducted to provide further evidence regarding the efficacy of exoskeletal-based rehabilitation. Functional assessment included walking speed, distance, and time on a treadmill, with additional analysis of functional mobility using the following tests: 10-meter walk test (10MWT), timed up and go (TUG) test, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and the walking index for SCI II (WISCI-II) score. After a training period of 90 days, all 21 patients significantly improved their functional and ambulatory mobility without the exoskeleton. Patients were assessed by the 6MWT, the TUG test, and the 10MWT, which also indicated an increase in the WISCI-II score along with significant improvements in HAL-associated walking speed, distance, and time. Although, exoskeletons are not yet an established treatment in the rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries, the devices will play a more important role in the future. The HAL exoskeleton training enables effective, body weight-supported treadmill training and is capable of improving ambulatory mobility. Future controlled studies are required to enable a comparison of the new advances in the field of SCI rehabilitation with traditional over-ground training. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Soleus H-reflex phase-dependent modulation is preserved during stepping within a robotic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knikou, Maria; Hajela, Nupur; Mummidisetty, Chaithanya K; Xiao, Ming; Smith, Andrew C

    2011-07-01

    To investigate to what extent the phase-dependent modulation of the soleus H-reflex is preserved when bilateral leg movements are electromechanically driven by a robotic exoskeleton at different levels of body weight support (BWS) in healthy subjects. The soleus H-reflex was elicited by posterior tibial nerve stimulation with a 1-ms single pulse at an intensity that the M-waves ranged from 4% to 9% of the maximal M-wave across subjects. Stimuli were randomly dispersed across the step cycle which was divided into 16 equal bins. At each bin, a maximal M-wave was elicited 100 ms after the test H-reflex and was used to normalize the associated M-wave and H-reflex. Electromyographic (EMG) activity from major hip, knee, and ankle muscles was recorded with surface bipolar electrodes. For each subject and muscle, the integrated EMG profile was established and plotted as a function of the step cycle phases. The H-reflex gain was determined as the slope of the relationship between the H-reflex and soleus EMG amplitudes at 100 ms before the H-reflex for each bin. During robotic assisted stepping, the phase-dependent soleus H-reflex modulation pattern was preserved and was similar at 25% and 50% BWS, a linear relationship between soleus H-reflex amplitude and background activity was found, and the reflex gain did not change with alterations of the BWS level. EMG amplitudes were smaller at 50% compared to 25% BWS. Body unloading, decreased EMG amplitude of ankle extensors, and reduced ankle movement are not key factors for the soleus H-reflex phasic excitability to be manifested. Robotic devices are utilized for rehabilitation of gait in neurological disorders. Based on our findings, spinal interneuronal circuits involved in the phase-dependent modulation of the soleus H-reflex will be engaged in a physiological manner during robotic assisted stepping in neurological disorders. Copyright © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland

  15. Control of an Ambulatory Exoskeleton with a Brain–Machine Interface for Spinal Cord Injury Gait Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Larraz, Eduardo; Trincado-Alonso, Fernando; Rajasekaran, Vijaykumar; Pérez-Nombela, Soraya; del-Ama, Antonio J.; Aranda, Joan; Minguez, Javier; Gil-Agudo, Angel; Montesano, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The closed-loop control of rehabilitative technologies by neural commands has shown a great potential to improve motor recovery in patients suffering from paralysis. Brain–machine interfaces (BMI) can be used as a natural control method for such technologies. BMI provides a continuous association between the brain activity and peripheral stimulation, with the potential to induce plastic changes in the nervous system. Paraplegic patients, and especially the ones with incomplete injuries, constitute a potential target population to be rehabilitated with brain-controlled robotic systems, as they may improve their gait function after the reinforcement of their spared intact neural pathways. This paper proposes a closed-loop BMI system to control an ambulatory exoskeleton—without any weight or balance support—for gait rehabilitation of incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. The integrated system was validated with three healthy subjects, and its viability in a clinical scenario was tested with four SCI patients. Using a cue-guided paradigm, the electroencephalographic signals of the subjects were used to decode their gait intention and to trigger the movements of the exoskeleton. We designed a protocol with a special emphasis on safety, as patients with poor balance were required to stand and walk. We continuously monitored their fatigue and exertion level, and conducted usability and user-satisfaction tests after the experiments. The results show that, for the three healthy subjects, 84.44 ± 14.56% of the trials were correctly decoded. Three out of four patients performed at least one successful BMI session, with an average performance of 77.6 1 ± 14.72%. The shared control strategy implemented (i.e., the exoskeleton could only move during specific periods of time) was effective in preventing unexpected movements during periods in which patients were asked to relax. On average, 55.22 ± 16.69% and 40.45 ± 16.98% of the trials (for healthy subjects and

  16. A Single-Session Preliminary Evaluation of an Affordable BCI-Controlled Arm Exoskeleton and Motor-Proprioception Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elnady, Ahmed Mohamed; Zhang, Xin; Xiao, Zhen Gang; Yong, Xinyi; Randhawa, Bubblepreet Kaur; Boyd, Lara; Menon, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Traditional, hospital-based stroke rehabilitation can be labor-intensive and expensive. Furthermore, outcomes from rehabilitation are inconsistent across individuals and recovery is hard to predict. Given these uncertainties, numerous technological approaches have been tested in an effort to improve rehabilitation outcomes and reduce the cost of stroke rehabilitation. These techniques include brain–computer interface (BCI), robotic exoskeletons, functional electrical stimulation (FES), and proprioceptive feedback. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have combined all these approaches into a rehabilitation platform that facilitates goal-directed motor movements. Therefore, in this paper, we combined all these technologies to test the feasibility of using a BCI-driven exoskeleton with FES (robotic training device) to facilitate motor task completion among individuals with stroke. The robotic training device operated to assist a pre-defined goal-directed motor task. Because it is hard to predict who can utilize this type of technology, we considered whether the ability to adapt skilled movements with proprioceptive feedback would predict who could learn to control a BCI-driven robotic device. To accomplish this aim, we developed a motor task that requires proprioception for completion to assess motor-proprioception ability. Next, we tested the feasibility of robotic training system in individuals with chronic stroke (n = 9) and found that the training device was well tolerated by all the participants. Ability on the motor-proprioception task did not predict the time to completion of the BCI-driven task. Both participants who could accurately target (n = 6) and those who could not (n = 3), were able to learn to control the BCI device, with each BCI trial lasting on average 2.47 min. Our results showed that the participants’ ability to use proprioception to control motor output did not affect their ability to use the BCI

  17. Control of an ambulatory exoskeleton with a brain-machine interface for spinal cord injury gait rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo López-Larraz

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The closed-loop control of rehabilitative technologies by neural commands has shown a greatpotential to improve motor recovery in patients suffering from paralysis. Brain-machine interfaces(BMI can be used as a natural control method for such technologies. BMI provide a continuousassociation between the brain activity and peripheral stimulation, with the potential to induceplastic changes in the nervous system. Paraplegic patients, and especially the ones with incompleteinjuries, constitute a potential target population to be rehabilitated with brain-controlledrobotic systems, as they may improve their gait function after the reinforcement of their sparedintact neural pathways. This paper proposes a closed-loop BMI system to control an ambulatoryexoskeleton–without any weight or balance support–for gait rehabilitation of incomplete spinalcord injury (SCI patients. The integrated system was validated with three healthy subjects, andits viability in a clinical scenario was tested with four SCI patients. Using a cue-guided paradigm,the electroencephalographic signals of the subjects were used to decode their gait intention, andto trigger the movements of the exoskeleton. We designed a protocol with a special emphasison safety, since patients with poor balance were required to stand and walk. We continuouslymonitored their fatigue and exertion levels, and conducted usability and user-satisfaction testsafter the experiments. The results show that, for the three healthy subjects, 84.44□14.56% ofthe trials were correctly decoded. Three out of the four patients performed at least one successfulBMI session, with an average performance of 77.61□14.72%. The shared control strategyimplemented (i.e., the exoskeleton could only move during specific periods of time was effectivein preventing unexpected movements during periods in which patients were asked to relax. On average, 55.22□16.69% and 40.45□16.98% of the trials (for healthy subjects and

  18. A Single-Session Preliminary Evaluation of an Affordable BCI-Controlled Arm Exoskeleton and Motor-Proprioception Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elnady, Ahmed Mohamed; Zhang, Xin; Xiao, Zhen Gang; Yong, Xinyi; Randhawa, Bubblepreet Kaur; Boyd, Lara; Menon, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Traditional, hospital-based stroke rehabilitation can be labor-intensive and expensive. Furthermore, outcomes from rehabilitation are inconsistent across individuals and recovery is hard to predict. Given these uncertainties, numerous technological approaches have been tested in an effort to improve rehabilitation outcomes and reduce the cost of stroke rehabilitation. These techniques include brain-computer interface (BCI), robotic exoskeletons, functional electrical stimulation (FES), and proprioceptive feedback. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have combined all these approaches into a rehabilitation platform that facilitates goal-directed motor movements. Therefore, in this paper, we combined all these technologies to test the feasibility of using a BCI-driven exoskeleton with FES (robotic training device) to facilitate motor task completion among individuals with stroke. The robotic training device operated to assist a pre-defined goal-directed motor task. Because it is hard to predict who can utilize this type of technology, we considered whether the ability to adapt skilled movements with proprioceptive feedback would predict who could learn to control a BCI-driven robotic device. To accomplish this aim, we developed a motor task that requires proprioception for completion to assess motor-proprioception ability. Next, we tested the feasibility of robotic training system in individuals with chronic stroke (n = 9) and found that the training device was well tolerated by all the participants. Ability on the motor-proprioception task did not predict the time to completion of the BCI-driven task. Both participants who could accurately target (n = 6) and those who could not (n = 3), were able to learn to control the BCI device, with each BCI trial lasting on average 2.47 min. Our results showed that the participants' ability to use proprioception to control motor output did not affect their ability to use the BCI-driven exoskeleton

  19. EFFICACY OF COMPLEX NEUROREHABILITATION OF PATIENTS WITH A POST-STROKE ARM PARESIS WITH THE USE OF A BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE+EXOSKELETON SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Frolov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rehabilitation of patients with poststroke motor disorders with the use of a brain-computer interface (BCI+exoskeleton may raise the rehabilitation to a  new high-tech level and allow for an effective correction of the post-stroke dysfunction. Aim: To assess the efficacy of BCI+exoskeleton procedures for neurorehabilitation of patients with post-stroke motor dysfunction. Materials and methods: The study included 40 patients with a history of cerebral stroke (mean age 59±10.4 years, 26 male and 14 female. Thirty six of them had had an ischemic stroke and 4, a hemorrhagic stroke from 2 months to 4 years before the study entry. All patients had a various degree post-stroke hemiparesis predominantly of the arm. The main group patients (n=20, in addition to conventional therapy, had 10  sessions (3  times daily of BCI+exoskeleton. The BCI recognized the hand ungripping imagined by the patient and, by a  feedback signal, the exoskeleton exerted the passive movement in the paretic arm. The control group patients (n=10 had 10  BCI+exoskeleton sessions without imaginary movements, and the exoskeleton functioned in a  random mode. The comparison group included 10  patients who received only standard treatment. Results: At the end of rehabilitation treatment (day 14, all study groups demonstrated an improvement in the function of the paretic extremity. There was an improvement of functioning and daily activities in the main group, compared to the control and the comparison groups: the change in the modified Rankin scale score was 0.4±0.1, 0.1±0.1  and 0±0.2 (p<0.05, in the Bartel scale score, 5.6±0.8, 2.3±0.3 and 1±0.2 (p<0.001, respectively. In the BCI+exoskeleton group the motor function of the paretic arm assessed by the ARAT scale, improved by 5.5±1.3  points (2.4±0.6  points in the control group and 1.9±0.7  in the comparison group, р<0.05, and as assessed by the Fugl-Meyer scale, by 10.8±1.5 points (3.8

  20. Human-Robot Interfaces in Exoskeletons for Gait Training after Stroke: State of the Art and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude Lagoda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Robotic rehabilitation of CVA (stroke survivors is an emerging field. However, the development of effective gait rehabilitation robots used to treat stroke survivors is and remains a challenging task. This article discusses existing approaches and gives an overview of limitations with existing wearable robots. Challenges and potential solutions are being discussed in this article. Most difficulties lie in the implementation of physical and cognitive human robot interfaces. Many issues like actuation principles, control strategies, portability and wearing comfort, such as correct determination of user intention and effective guidance have to be tackled in future designs. Different solutions are being proposed. Clever anthropometric design and smart brain computer interfaces are key factors in effective exoskeleton design.

  1. Contralesional Brain-Computer Interface Control of a Powered Exoskeleton for Motor Recovery in Chronic Stroke Survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundy, David T; Souders, Lauren; Baranyai, Kelly; Leonard, Laura; Schalk, Gerwin; Coker, Robert; Moran, Daniel W; Huskey, Thy; Leuthardt, Eric C

    2017-07-01

    There are few effective therapies to achieve functional recovery from motor-related disabilities affecting the upper limb after stroke. This feasibility study tested whether a powered exoskeleton driven by a brain-computer interface (BCI), using neural activity from the unaffected cortical hemisphere, could affect motor recovery in chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors. This novel system was designed and configured for a home-based setting to test the feasibility of BCI-driven neurorehabilitation in outpatient environments. Ten chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors with moderate-to-severe upper-limb motor impairment (mean Action Research Arm Test=13.4) used a powered exoskeleton that opened and closed the affected hand using spectral power from electroencephalographic signals from the unaffected hemisphere associated with imagined hand movements of the paretic limb. Patients used the system at home for 12 weeks. Motor function was evaluated before, during, and after the treatment. Across patients, our BCI-driven approach resulted in a statistically significant average increase of 6.2 points in the Action Research Arm Test. This behavioral improvement significantly correlated with improvements in BCI control. Secondary outcomes of grasp strength, Motricity Index, and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure also significantly improved. The findings demonstrate the therapeutic potential of a BCI-driven neurorehabilitation approach using the unaffected hemisphere in this uncontrolled sample of chronic stroke survivors. They also demonstrate that BCI-driven neurorehabilitation can be effectively delivered in the home environment, thus increasing the probability of future clinical translation. URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02552368. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. [Arm Motor Function Recovery during Rehabilitation with the Use of Hand Exoskeleton Controlled by Brain-Computer Interface: a Patient with Severe Brain Damage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biryukova, E V; Pavlova, O G; Kurganskaya, M E; Bobrov, P D; Turbina, L G; Frolov, A A; Davydov, V I; Sil'tchenko, A V; Mokienko, O A

    2016-01-01

    We studied the dynamics of motor function recovery in a patient with severe brain damage in the course of neurorehabilitation using hand exoskeleton controlled by brain-computer interface. For estimating the motor function of paretic arm, we used the biomechanical analysis of movements registered during the course of rehabilitation. After 15 weekly sessions of hand exoskeleton control, the following results were obtained: a) the velocity profile of goal-directed movements of paretic hand became bell-shaped, b) the patient began to extend and abduct the hand which was flexed and adducted in the beginning of rehabilitation, and c) the patient began to supinate the forearm which was pronated in the beginning of rehabilitation. The first result is an evidence of the general improvement of the quality of motor control, while the second and third results prove that the spasticity of paretic arm has decreased.

  3. The Combined Effects of Body Weight Support and Gait Speed on Gait Related Muscle Activity: A Comparison between Walking in the Lokomat Exoskeleton and Regular Treadmill Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Kammen, Klaske; Boonstra, Annemarijke; Reinders-Messelink, Heleen; den Otter, Rob

    2014-01-01

    Background For the development of specialized training protocols for robot assisted gait training, it is important to understand how the use of exoskeletons alters locomotor task demands, and how the nature and magnitude of these changes depend on training parameters. Therefore, the present study assessed the combined effects of gait speed and body weight support (BWS) on muscle activity, and compared these between treadmill walking and walking in the Lokomat exoskeleton. Methods Ten healthy participants walked on a treadmill and in the Lokomat, with varying levels of BWS (0% and 50% of the participants’ body weight) and gait speed (0.8, 1.8, and 2.8 km/h), while temporal step characteristics and muscle activity from Erector Spinae, Gluteus Medius, Vastus Lateralis, Biceps Femoris, Gastrocnemius Medialis, and Tibialis Anterior muscles were recorded. Results The temporal structure of the stepping pattern was altered when participants walked in the Lokomat or when BWS was provided (i.e. the relative duration of the double support phase was reduced, and the single support phase prolonged), but these differences normalized as gait speed increased. Alternations in muscle activity were characterized by complex interactions between walking conditions and training parameters: Differences between treadmill walking and walking in the exoskeleton were most prominent at low gait speeds, and speed effects were attenuated when BWS was provided. Conclusion Walking in the Lokomat exoskeleton without movement guidance alters the temporal step regulation and the neuromuscular control of walking, although the nature and magnitude of these effects depend on complex interactions with gait speed and BWS. If normative neuromuscular control of gait is targeted during training, it is recommended that very low speeds and high levels of BWS should be avoided when possible. PMID:25226302

  4. Principles of Motor Recovery in Post-Stroke Patients using Hand Exoskeleton Controlled by the Brain-Computer Interface Based on Motor Imagery

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Frolov, A. A.; Húsek, Dušan; Biryukova, E. V.; Bobrov, P.; Mokienko, O.; Alexandrov, A.V.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 1 (2017), s. 107-137 ISSN 1210-0552 Grant - others:Russian Ministry of Education and Science(RU) RFMEFI60715X0128 Institutional support: RVO:67985807 Keywords : brain computer interface * motor imagery * post-stroke and post-traumatic patients * arm and hand exoskeleton * proportional derivative controller * motor synergy * clinical application Subject RIV: IN - Informatics, Computer Science Impact factor: 0.394, year: 2016

  5. Feasibility and Safety of a Powered Exoskeleton for Assisted Walking for Persons With Multiple Sclerosis: A Single-Group Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowski, Allan J; Fabian, Michelle; Lad, Dipan; Delgado, Andrew D

    2017-07-01

    To examine the feasibility, safety, and secondary benefit potential of exoskeleton-assisted walking with one device for persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Single-group longitudinal preliminary study with 8-week baseline, 8-week intervention, and 4-week follow-up. Outpatient MS clinic, tertiary care hospital. Participants (N=13; age range, 38-62y) were mostly women with Expanded Disability Status Scale scores ranging from 5.5 to 7.0. Exoskeleton-assisted walk training. Primary outcomes were accessibility (enrollment/screen pass), tolerability (completion/dropout), learnability (time to event for standing, walking, and sitting with little or no assistance), acceptability (satisfaction on the device subscale of the Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology version 2), and safety (event rates standardized to person-time exposure in the powered exoskeleton). Secondary outcomes were walking without the device (timed 25-foot walk test and 6-minute walk test distance), spasticity (Modified Ashworth Scale), and health-related quality of life (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement and Information System pain interference and Quality of Life in Neurological Conditions fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, and positive affect and well-being). The device was accessible to 11 and tolerated by 5 participants. Learnability was moderate, with 5 to 15 sessions required to walk with minimal assistance. Safety was good; the highest adverse event rate was for skin issues at 151 per 1000 hours' exposure. Acceptability ranged from not very satisfied to very satisfied. Participants who walked routinely improved qualitatively on sitting, standing, or walking posture. Two participants improved and 2 worsened on ≥1 quality of life domain. The pattern of spasticity scores may indicate potential benefit. The device appeared feasible and safe for about a third of our sample, for whom routine exoskeleton-assisted walking may offer secondary benefits. Copyright

  6. Design and Validation of Exoskeleton Actuated by Soft Modules toward Neurorehabilitation—Vision-Based Control for Precise Reaching Motion of Upper Limb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguntosin, Victoria W.; Mori, Yoshiki; Kim, Hyejong; Nasuto, Slawomir J.; Kawamura, Sadao; Hayashi, Yoshikatsu

    2017-01-01

    We demonstrated the design, production, and functional properties of the Exoskeleton Actuated by the Soft Modules (EAsoftM). Integrating the 3D printed exoskeleton with passive joints to compensate gravity and with active joints to rotate the shoulder and elbow joints resulted in ultra-light system that could assist planar reaching motion by using the vision-based control law. The EAsoftM can support the reaching motion with compliance realized by the soft materials and pneumatic actuation. In addition, the vision-based control law has been proposed for the precise control over the target reaching motion within the millimeter scale. Aiming at rehabilitation exercise for individuals, typically soft actuators have been developed for relatively small motions, such as grasping motion, and one of the challenges has been to extend their use for a wider range reaching motion. The proposed EAsoftM presented one possible solution for this challenge by transmitting the torque effectively along the anatomically aligned with a human body exoskeleton. The proposed integrated systems will be an ideal solution for neurorehabilitation where affordable, wearable, and portable systems are required to be customized for individuals with specific motor impairments. PMID:28736514

  7. Gait training after spinal cord injury: safety, feasibility and gait function following 8 weeks of training with the exoskeletons from Ekso Bionics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach Baunsgaard, Carsten; Vig Nissen, Ulla; Katrin Brust, Anne; Frotzler, Angela; Ribeill, Cornelia; Kalke, Yorck-Bernhard; León, Natacha; Gómez, Belén; Samuelsson, Kersti; Antepohl, Wolfram; Holmström, Ulrika; Marklund, Niklas; Glott, Thomas; Opheim, Arve; Benito, Jesus; Murillo, Narda; Nachtegaal, Janneke; Faber, Willemijn; Biering-Sørensen, Fin

    2017-11-06

    Prospective quasi-experimental study, pre- and post-design. Assess safety, feasibility, training characteristics and changes in gait function for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) using the robotic exoskeletons from Ekso Bionics. Nine European rehabilitation centres. Robotic exoskeleton gait training, three times weekly over 8 weeks. Time upright, time walking and steps in the device (training characteristics) were recorded longitudinally. Gait and neurological function were measured by 10 Metre Walk Test (10 MWT), Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI) II and Lower Extremity Motor Score (LEMS). Fifty-two participants completed the training protocol. Median age: 35.8 years (IQR 27.5-52.5), men/women: N = 36/16, neurological level of injury: C1-L2 and severity: AIS A-D (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale). Time since injury (TSI)  1 year, N = 27. No serious adverse events occurred. Three participants dropped out following ankle swelling (overuse injury). Four participants sustained a Category II pressure ulcer at contact points with the device but completed the study and skin normalized. Training characteristics increased significantly for all subgroups. The number of participants with TSI  1 year and gait function, increased from 41 to 44% and TUG and BBS results improved (P < 0.05). Exoskeleton training was generally safe and feasible in a heterogeneous sample of persons with SCI. Results indicate potential benefits on gait function and balance.

  8. Design and Validation of Exoskeleton Actuated by Soft Modules toward Neurorehabilitation-Vision-Based Control for Precise Reaching Motion of Upper Limb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguntosin, Victoria W; Mori, Yoshiki; Kim, Hyejong; Nasuto, Slawomir J; Kawamura, Sadao; Hayashi, Yoshikatsu

    2017-01-01

    We demonstrated the design, production, and functional properties of the Exoskeleton Actuated by the Soft Modules (EAsoftM). Integrating the 3D printed exoskeleton with passive joints to compensate gravity and with active joints to rotate the shoulder and elbow joints resulted in ultra-light system that could assist planar reaching motion by using the vision-based control law. The EAsoftM can support the reaching motion with compliance realized by the soft materials and pneumatic actuation. In addition, the vision-based control law has been proposed for the precise control over the target reaching motion within the millimeter scale. Aiming at rehabilitation exercise for individuals, typically soft actuators have been developed for relatively small motions, such as grasping motion, and one of the challenges has been to extend their use for a wider range reaching motion. The proposed EAsoftM presented one possible solution for this challenge by transmitting the torque effectively along the anatomically aligned with a human body exoskeleton. The proposed integrated systems will be an ideal solution for neurorehabilitation where affordable, wearable, and portable systems are required to be customized for individuals with specific motor impairments.

  9. Effect on body composition and bone mineral density of walking with a robotic exoskeleton in adults with chronic spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karelis, Antony D; Carvalho, Lívia Pinheiro; Castillo, Manuel Jose; Gagnon, Dany H; Aubertin-Leheudre, Mylène

    2017-01-19

    To examine the effect on body composition and bone mineral density of locomotor training using a robotic exoskeleton in individuals with spinal cord injury. Interventional study. Five adults with a non-progressive traumatic complete sensorimotor spinal cord injury who were using a wheelchair as a primary mode of mobility. Participants performed a personalized 6-week progressive locomotor training programme using a robotic exoskeleton 3 times/week for up to 60 min. Body composition measures were determined using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography. A significant increase in leg and appendicular lean body mass and a decrease in total, leg and appendicular fat mass was observed after the intervention. Furthermore, the calf muscle cross-sectional area increased significantly after the intervention. Finally, although not statistically significant, there was an increase of 14.5% in bone mineral density of the tibia, which may be clinically significant. A decrease of > 5 % was also noted for subcutaneous adipose tissue and intramuscular adipose tissue. Locomotor training using a robotic exoskeleton appears to be associated with improvements in body composition and, potentially, bone health.

  10. Design and Validation of Exoskeleton Actuated by Soft Modules toward Neurorehabilitation—Vision-Based Control for Precise Reaching Motion of Upper Limb

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria W. Oguntosin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We demonstrated the design, production, and functional properties of the Exoskeleton Actuated by the Soft Modules (EAsoftM. Integrating the 3D printed exoskeleton with passive joints to compensate gravity and with active joints to rotate the shoulder and elbow joints resulted in ultra-light system that could assist planar reaching motion by using the vision-based control law. The EAsoftM can support the reaching motion with compliance realized by the soft materials and pneumatic actuation. In addition, the vision-based control law has been proposed for the precise control over the target reaching motion within the millimeter scale. Aiming at rehabilitation exercise for individuals, typically soft actuators have been developed for relatively small motions, such as grasping motion, and one of the challenges has been to extend their use for a wider range reaching motion. The proposed EAsoftM presented one possible solution for this challenge by transmitting the torque effectively along the anatomically aligned with a human body exoskeleton. The proposed integrated systems will be an ideal solution for neurorehabilitation where affordable, wearable, and portable systems are required to be customized for individuals with specific motor impairments.

  11. Letter to the editor regarding "Clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injury: systematic review with meta-analysis"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dijkers MP

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Marcel P Dijkers,1 Katherine G Akers,2 Sujay S Galen,3 Diane E Patzer,4 Phuong T Vu41Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wayne State University, Detroit, 2Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, 3Physical Therapy Program, Wayne State University, Detroit, 4Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Detroit, MI, USAIn the article “Clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in patients with spinal cord injury: systematic review with meta-analysis”, published in the March issue of Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, Miller et al1 present a meta-analysis of the clinical effectiveness and safety of powered exoskeletons for spinal cord injury (SCI patients. A close examination of this article shows surprising coincidences, in that two primary studies (references 25 and 33 in the reference list report the same proportions and 95% confidence intervals (CIs of subjects able to ambulate with an exoskeleton without assistance (Figure 2 of the study, and two different primary studies (references 26 and 28 report the same mean and 95% CIs for the distance (in meters walked in a 6-minute walk test (Figure 4 of the study.View the original paper by Miller and colleagues.

  12. Modifying upper-limb inter-joint coordination in healthy subjects by training with a robotic exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proietti, Tommaso; Guigon, Emmanuel; Roby-Brami, Agnès; Jarrassé, Nathanaël

    2017-06-12

    The possibility to modify the usually pathological patterns of coordination of the upper-limb in stroke survivors remains a central issue and an open question for neurorehabilitation. Despite robot-led physical training could potentially improve the motor recovery of hemiparetic patients, most of the state-of-the-art studies addressing motor control learning, with artificial virtual force fields, only focused on the end-effector kinematic adaptation, by using planar devices. Clearly, an interesting aspect of studying 3D movements with a robotic exoskeleton, is the possibility to investigate the way the human central nervous system deals with the natural upper-limb redundancy for common activities like pointing or tracking tasks. We asked twenty healthy participants to perform 3D pointing or tracking tasks under the effect of inter-joint velocity dependant perturbing force fields, applied directly at the joint level by a 4-DOF robotic arm exoskeleton. These fields perturbed the human natural inter-joint coordination but did not constrain directly the end-effector movements and thus subjects capability to perform the tasks. As a consequence, while the participants focused on the achievement of the task, we unexplicitly modified their natural upper-limb coordination strategy. We studied the force fields direct effect on pointing movements towards 8 targets placed in the 3D peripersonal space, and we also considered potential generalizations on 4 distinct other targets. Post-effects were studied after the removal of the force fields (wash-out and follow up). These effects were quantified by a kinematic analysis of the pointing movements at both end-point and joint levels, and by a measure of the final postures. At the same time, we analysed the natural inter-joint coordination through PCA. During the exposition to the perturbative fields, we observed modifications of the subjects movement kinematics at every level (joints, end-effector, and inter-joint coordination

  13. The eWrist - A wearable wrist exoskeleton with sEMG-based force control for stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambelet, Charles; Lyu, Mingxing; Woolley, Daniel; Gassert, Roger; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2017-07-01

    Chronic wrist impairment is frequent following stroke and negatively impacts everyday life. Rehabilitation of the dysfunctional limb is possible but requires extensive training and motivation. Wearable training devices might offer new opportunities for rehabilitation. However, few devices are available to train wrist extension even though this movement is highly relevant for many upper limb activities of daily living. As a proof of concept, we developed the eWrist, a wearable one degree-of-freedom powered exoskeleton which supports wrist extension training. Conceptually one might think of an electric bike which provides mechanical support only when the rider moves the pedals, i.e. it enhances motor activity but does not replace it. Stroke patients may not have the ability to produce overt movements, but they might still be able to produce weak muscle activation that can be measured via surface electromyography (sEMG). By combining force and sEMG-based control in an assist-as-needed support strategy, we aim at providing a training device which enhances activity of the wrist extensor muscles in the context of daily life activities, thereby, driving cortical reorganization and recovery. Preliminary results show that the integration of sEMG signals in the control strategy allow for adjustable assistance with respect to a proxy measurement of corticomotor drive.

  14. Design and characterization of the OpenWrist: A robotic wrist exoskeleton for coordinated hand-wrist rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezent, Evan; Rose, Chad G; Deshpande, Ashish D; O'Malley, Marcia K

    2017-07-01

    Robotic devices have been clinically verified for use in long duration and high intensity rehabilitation needed for motor recovery after neurological injury. Targeted and coordinated hand and wrist therapy, often overlooked in rehabilitation robotics, is required to regain the ability to perform activities of daily living. To this end, a new coupled hand-wrist exoskeleton has been designed. This paper details the design of the wrist module and several human-related considerations made to maximize its potential as a coordinated hand-wrist device. The serial wrist mechanism has been engineered to facilitate donning and doffing for impaired subjects and to insure compatibility with the hand module in virtual and assisted grasping tasks. Several other practical requirements have also been addressed, including device ergonomics, clinician-friendliness, and ambidextrous reconfigurability. The wrist module's capabilities as a rehabilitation device are quantified experimentally in terms of functional workspace and dynamic properties. Specifically, the device possesses favorable performance in terms of range of motion, torque output, friction, and closed-loop position bandwidth when compared with existing devices. The presented wrist module's performance and operational considerations support its use in a wide range of future clinical investigations.

  15. Developing a multi-joint upper limb exoskeleton robot for diagnosis, therapy, and outcome evaluation in neurorehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yupeng; Kang, Sang Hoon; Park, Hyung-Soon; Wu, Yi-Ning; Zhang, Li-Qun

    2013-05-01

    Arm impairments in patients post stroke involve the shoulder, elbow and wrist simultaneously. It is not very clear how patients develop spasticity and reduced range of motion (ROM) at the multiple joints and the abnormal couplings among the multiple joints and the multiple degrees-of-freedom (DOF) during passive movement. It is also not clear how they lose independent control of individual joints/DOFs and coordination among the joints/DOFs during voluntary movement. An upper limb exoskeleton robot, the IntelliArm, which can control the shoulder, elbow, and wrist, was developed, aiming to support clinicians and patients with the following integrated capabilities: 1) quantitative, objective, and comprehensive multi-joint neuromechanical pre-evaluation capabilities aiding multi-joint/DOF diagnosis for individual patients; 2) strenuous and safe passive stretching of hypertonic/deformed arm for loosening up muscles/joints based on the robot-aided diagnosis; 3) (assistive/resistive) active reaching training after passive stretching for regaining/improving motor control ability; and 4) quantitative, objective, and comprehensive neuromechanical outcome evaluation at the level of individual joints/DOFs, multiple joints, and whole arm. Feasibility of the integrated capabilities was demonstrated through experiments with stroke survivors and healthy subjects.

  16. The exoskeleton of the female genitalic region in Petrobiellus takunagae (Insecta: Archaeognatha): insect-wide terminology, homologies, and functional interpretations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klass, Klaus-Dieter; Matushkina, Natalia A

    2012-11-01

    The exoskeleton of the female genitalic region (abdominal venters 7-9) in Petrobiellus takunagae (Machilidae-Petrobiellinae) is studied using light microscopy and SEM. Sclerites are distinguished from membrane by the degree of cuticular flexibility. However, the microsculpture of the cuticle is shown to be useful in characterising the heterogeneity of the cuticle and in detecting weak sclerotisations. The morphology of Petrobiellus is compared with that in Trigoniophthalmus alternatus (Machilidae-Machilinae) described previously. While venter 7 is similar, venters 8 and 9 show many differences in the presence/absence or fusion/separation of particular sclerites. This suggests female genitalic morphology to be a valuable character system for phylogenetic and taxonomic work in Archaeognatha. Comparison with other insect orders is aimed at detecting homologous structures and conditions. Important points are: (1) Petrobiellus has a sclerotised genital lobe posteriorly on venter 7, similar to Zygentoma and Dictyoptera; it bears the gonopore. (2) Petrobiellus has a posterior sclerite on venter 9 that is very similar to a sclerite of Odonata. (3) The morphology of the coxal lobes of venter 9 (gonoplacs) suggests their function as a sheath of the ovipositor. From female genitalic morphology we deduce the process of oviposition, describing an external egg transportation tract. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Compensation or Restoration: Closed-Loop Feedback of Movement Quality for Assisted Reach-to-Grasp Exercises with a Multi-Joint Arm Exoskeleton.

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    Grimm, Florian; Naros, Georgios; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Assistive technology allows for intensive practice and kinematic measurements during rehabilitation exercises. More recent approaches attach a gravity-compensating multi-joint exoskeleton to the upper extremity to facilitate task-oriented training in three-dimensional space with virtual reality feedback. The movement quality, however, is mostly captured through end-point measures that lack information on proximal inter-joint coordination. This limits the differentiation between compensation strategies and genuine restoration both during the exercise and in the course of rehabilitation. We extended in this proof-of-concept study a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton by using the real-time sensor data to display a three-dimensional multi-joint visualization of the user's arm. Ten healthy subjects and three severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living assisted by the attached exoskeleton and received closed-loop online feedback of the three-dimensional movement in virtual reality. Patients in this pilot study differed significantly with regard to motor performance (accuracy, temporal efficiency, range of motion) and movement quality (proximal inter-joint coordination) from the healthy control group. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions over 4 weeks, these pathological measures improved significantly toward the reference parameters of healthy participants. It was moreover feasible to capture the evolution of movement pattern kinematics of the shoulder and elbow and to quantify the individual degree of natural movement restoration for each patient. The virtual reality visualization and closed-loop feedback of joint-specific movement kinematics makes it possible to detect compensation strategies and may provide a tool to achieve the rehabilitation goals in accordance with the individual capacity for genuine functional restoration; a proposal that warrants

  18. Closed-Loop Neuroprosthesis for Reach-to-Grasp Assistance: Combining Adaptive Multi-channel Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-joint Arm Exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Stroke patients with severe motor deficits cannot execute task-oriented rehabilitation exercises with their affected upper extremity. Advanced rehabilitation technology may support them in performing such reach-to-grasp movements. The challenge is, however, to provide assistance as needed, while maintaining the participants' commitment during the exercises. In this feasibility study, we introduced a closed-loop neuroprosthesis for reach-to-grasp assistance which combines adaptive multi-channel neuromuscular stimulation with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton. Eighteen severely affected chronic stroke patients were assisted by a gravity-compensating, seven-degree-of-freedom exoskeleton which was attached to the paretic arm for performing reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living in a virtual environment. During the exercises, adaptive electrical stimulation was applied to seven different muscles of the upper extremity in a performance-dependent way to enhance the task-oriented movement trajectory. The stimulation intensity was individualized for each targeted muscle and remained subthreshold, i.e., induced no overt support. Closed-loop neuromuscular stimulation could be well integrated into the exoskeleton-based training, and increased the task-related range of motion (p = 0.0004) and movement velocity (p = 0.015), while preserving accuracy. The highest relative stimulation intensity was required to facilitate the grasping function. The facilitated range of motion correlated with the upper extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the patients (p = 0.028). Combining adaptive multi-channel neuromuscular stimulation with antigravity assistance amplifies the residual motor capabilities of severely affected stroke patients during rehabilitation exercises and may thus provide a customized training environment for patient-tailored support while preserving the participants' engagement. PMID:27445658

  19. A Fuzzy Controller for Lower Limb Exoskeletons during Sit-to-Stand and Stand-to-Sit Movement Using Wearable Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharif Muhammad Taslim Reza

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Human motion is a daily and rhythmic activity. The exoskeleton concept is a very positive scientific approach for human rehabilitation in case of lower limb impairment. Although the exoskeleton shows potential, it is not yet applied extensively in clinical rehabilitation. In this research, a fuzzy based control algorithm is proposed for lower limb exoskeletons during sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit movements. Surface electromyograms (EMGs are acquired from the vastus lateralis muscle using a wearable EMG sensor. The resultant acceleration angle along the z-axis is determined from a kinematics sensor. Twenty volunteers were chosen to perform the experiments. The whole experiment was accomplished in two phases. In the first phase, acceleration angles and EMG data were acquired from the volunteers during both sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit motions. During sit-to-stand movements, the average acceleration angle at activation was 11°–48° and the EMG varied from −0.19 mV to +0.19 mV. On the other hand, during stand-to-sit movements, the average acceleration angle was found to be 57.5°–108° at the activation point and the EMG varied from −0.32 mV to +0.32 mV. In the second phase, a fuzzy controller was designed from the experimental data. The controller was tested and validated with both offline and real time data using LabVIEW.

  20. Post-stroke Rehabilitation Training with a Motor-Imagery-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)-Controlled Hand Exoskeleton: A Randomized Controlled Multicenter Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frolov, Alexander A; Mokienko, Olesya; Lyukmanov, Roman; Biryukova, Elena; Kotov, Sergey; Turbina, Lydia; Nadareyshvily, Georgy; Bushkova, Yulia

    2017-01-01

    Repeated use of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) providing contingent sensory feedback of brain activity was recently proposed as a rehabilitation approach to restore motor function after stroke or spinal cord lesions. However, there are only a few clinical studies that investigate feasibility and effectiveness of such an approach. Here we report on a placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial that investigated whether stroke survivors with severe upper limb (UL) paralysis benefit from 10 BCI training sessions each lasting up to 40 min. A total of 74 patients participated: median time since stroke is 8 months, 25 and 75% quartiles [3.0; 13.0]; median severity of UL paralysis is 4.5 points [0.0; 30.0] as measured by the Action Research Arm Test, ARAT, and 19.5 points [11.0; 40.0] as measured by the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment, FMMA. Patients in the BCI group ( n = 55) performed motor imagery of opening their affected hand. Motor imagery-related brain electroencephalographic activity was translated into contingent hand exoskeleton-driven opening movements of the affected hand. In a control group ( n = 19), hand exoskeleton-driven opening movements of the affected hand were independent of brain electroencephalographic activity. Evaluation of the UL clinical assessments indicated that both groups improved, but only the BCI group showed an improvement in the ARAT's grasp score from 0 [0.0; 14.0] to 3.0 [0.0; 15.0] points ( p exoskeleton-assisted physical therapy can improve post-stroke rehabilitation outcomes. Both maximum and mean values of the percentage of successfully decoded imagery-related EEG activity, were higher than chance level. A correlation between the classification accuracy and the improvement in the upper extremity function was found. An improvement of motor function was found for patients with different duration, severity and location of the stroke.

  1. Closed-Loop Neuroprosthesis for Reach-to-Grasp Assistance: Combining Adaptive Multi-channel Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-joint Arm Exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Stroke patients with severe motor deficits cannot execute task-oriented rehabilitation exercises with their affected upper extremity. Advanced rehabilitation technology may support them in performing such reach-to-grasp movements. The challenge is, however, to provide assistance as needed, while maintaining the participants' commitment during the exercises. In this feasibility study, we introduced a closed-loop neuroprosthesis for reach-to-grasp assistance which combines adaptive multi-channel neuromuscular stimulation with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton. Eighteen severely affected chronic stroke patients were assisted by a gravity-compensating, seven-degree-of-freedom exoskeleton which was attached to the paretic arm for performing reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living in a virtual environment. During the exercises, adaptive electrical stimulation was applied to seven different muscles of the upper extremity in a performance-dependent way to enhance the task-oriented movement trajectory. The stimulation intensity was individualized for each targeted muscle and remained subthreshold, i.e., induced no overt support. Closed-loop neuromuscular stimulation could be well integrated into the exoskeleton-based training, and increased the task-related range of motion (p = 0.0004) and movement velocity (p = 0.015), while preserving accuracy. The highest relative stimulation intensity was required to facilitate the grasping function. The facilitated range of motion correlated with the upper extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment score of the patients (p = 0.028). Combining adaptive multi-channel neuromuscular stimulation with antigravity assistance amplifies the residual motor capabilities of severely affected stroke patients during rehabilitation exercises and may thus provide a customized training environment for patient-tailored support while preserving the participants' engagement.

  2. A crossover pilot study evaluating the functional outcomes of two different types of robotic movement training in chronic stroke survivors using the arm exoskeleton BONES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milot, Marie-Hélène; Spencer, Steven J; Chan, Vicky; Allington, James P; Klein, Julius; Chou, Cathy; Bobrow, James E; Cramer, Steven C; Reinkensmeyer, David J

    2013-12-19

    To date, the limited degrees of freedom (DOF) of most robotic training devices hinders them from providing functional training following stroke. We developed a 6-DOF exoskeleton ("BONES") that allows movement of the upper limb to assist in rehabilitation. The objectives of this pilot study were to evaluate the impact of training with BONES on function of the affected upper limb, and to assess whether multijoint functional robotic training would translate into greater gains in arm function than single joint robotic training also conducted with BONES. Twenty subjects with mild to moderate chronic stroke participated in this crossover study. Each subject experienced multijoint functional training and single joint training three sessions per week, for four weeks, with the order of presentation randomized. The primary outcome measure was the change in Box and Block Test (BBT). The secondary outcome measures were the changes in Fugl-Meyer Arm Motor Scale (FMA), Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT), Motor Activity Log (MAL), and quantitative measures of strength and speed of reaching. These measures were assessed at baseline, after each training period, and at a 3-month follow-up evaluation session. Training with the robotic exoskeleton resulted in significant improvements in the BBT, FMA, WMFT, MAL, shoulder and elbow strength, and reaching speed (p robotic training programs. However, for the BBT, WMFT and MAL, inequality of carryover effects were noted; subsequent analysis on the change in score between the baseline and first period of training again revealed no difference in the gains obtained between the types of training. Training with the 6 DOF arm exoskeleton improved motor function after chronic stroke, challenging the idea that robotic therapy is only useful for impairment reduction. The pilot results presented here also suggest that multijoint functional robotic training is not decisively superior to single joint robotic training. This challenges the idea that

  3. Movement Performance of Human-Robot Cooperation Control Based on EMG-Driven Hill-Type and Proportional Models for an Ankle Power-Assist Exoskeleton Robot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, Di; Song, Rong; Gao, JinWu

    2017-08-01

    Although the merits of electromyography (EMG)-based control of powered assistive systems have been certified, the factors that affect the performance of EMG-based human-robot cooperation, which are very important, have received little attention. This study investigates whether a more physiologically appropriate model could improve the performance of human-robot cooperation control for an ankle power-assist exoskeleton robot. To achieve the goal, an EMG-driven Hill-type neuromusculoskeletal model (HNM) and a linear proportional model (LPM) were developed and calibrated through maximum isometric voluntary dorsiflexion (MIVD). The two control models could estimate the real-time ankle joint torque, and HNM is more accurate and can account for the change of the joint angle and muscle dynamics. Then, eight healthy volunteers were recruited to wear the ankle exoskeleton robot and complete a series of sinusoidal tracking tasks in the vertical plane. With the various levels of assist based on the two calibrated models, the subjects were instructed to track the target displayed on the screen as accurately as possible by performing ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. Two measurements, the root mean square error (RMSE) and root mean square jerk (RMSJ), were derived from the assistant torque and kinematic signals to characterize the movement performances, whereas the amplitudes of the recorded EMG signals from the tibialis anterior (TA) and the gastrocnemius (GAS) were obtained to reflect the muscular efforts. The results demonstrated that the muscular effort and smoothness of tracking movements decreased with an increase in the assistant ratio. Compared with LPM, subjects made lower physical efforts and generated smoother movements when using HNM, which implied that a more physiologically appropriate model could enable more natural and human-like human-robot cooperation and has potential value for improvement of human-exoskeleton interaction in future applications.

  4. Feasibility study of a wearable exoskeleton for children: is the gait altered by adding masses on lower limbs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Rossi

    Full Text Available We are designing a pediatric exoskeletal ankle robot (pediatric Anklebot to promote gait habilitation in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP. Few studies have evaluated how much or whether the unilateral loading of a wearable exoskeleton may have the unwanted effect of altering significantly the gait. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether adding masses up to 2.5 kg, the estimated overall added mass of the mentioned device, at the knee level alters the gait kinematics. Ten healthy children and eight children with CP, with light or mild gait impairment, walked wearing a knee brace with several masses. Gait parameters and lower-limb joint kinematics were analyzed with an optoelectronic system under six conditions: without brace (natural gait and with masses placed at the knee level (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 kg. T-tests and repeated measures ANOVA tests were conducted in order to find noteworthy differences among the trial conditions and between loaded and unloaded legs. No statistically significant differences in gait parameters for both healthy children and children with CP were observed in the five "with added mass" conditions. We found significant differences among "natural gait" and "with added masses" conditions in knee flexion and hip extension angles for healthy children and in knee flexion angle for children with CP. This result can be interpreted as an effect of the mechanical constraint induced by the knee brace rather than the effect associated with load increase. The study demonstrates that the mechanical constraint induced by the brace has a measurable effect on the gait of healthy children and children with CP and that the added mass up to 2.5 kg does not alter the lower limb kinematics. This suggests that wearable devices weighing 25 N or less will not noticeably modify the gait patterns of the population examined here.

  5. Quantification of Lower Extremity Kinesthesia Deficits Using a Robotic Exoskeleton in People With a Spinal Cord Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Amanda E; Domingo, Antoinette; Jeyasurya, Jeswin; Lam, Tania

    2016-03-01

    Our ability to sense movement is essential for motor control; however, the impact of kinesthesia deficits on functional recovery is not well monitored in the spinal cord injury (SCI) population. One problem is the lack of accurate and reliable tools to measure kinesthesia. The purpose of this study was to establish the validity and reliability of a quantitative robotic assessment tool to measure lower limb kinesthesia in people with SCI. Seventeen individuals with an incomplete SCI and 17 age-matched controls completed 2 robotic-based assessments of lower limb kinesthesia sense, separated by at least 1 week. The Lokomat, a lower limb robotic exoskeleton, was used to quantify the movement detection score bilaterally for the hip and knee joints. Four passive movement speeds (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 deg/s) were applied in both flexion and extension directions. Participants responded via pressing a joystick button when movement was felt. The movement detection score was significantly greater in people with SCI compared with the control group, particularly at the slowest movement speed. The difference between groups was more pronounced among those classified as ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) Impairment Scale B. Our measure showed high test-retest reliability and good internal consistency for the hip and knee joints. Our findings demonstrated that lower limb kinesthesia deficits are common in the SCI population and highlighted the importance of valid and reliable tools to monitor sensory function. Future studies need to examine changes in sensory function in response to therapy. © The Author(s) 2015.

  6. HAL® exoskeleton training improves walking parameters and normalizes cortical excitability in primary somatosensory cortex in spinal cord injury patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Höffken, Oliver; Aach, Mirko; Cruciger, Oliver; Grasmücke, Dennis; Meindl, Renate; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Schwenkreis, Peter; Tegenthoff, Martin

    2015-08-20

    Reorganization in the sensorimotor cortex accompanied by increased excitability and enlarged body representations is a consequence of spinal cord injury (SCI). Robotic-assisted bodyweight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) was hypothesized to induce reorganization and improve walking function. To assess whether BWSTT with hybrid assistive limb® (HAL®) exoskeleton affects cortical excitability in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in SCI patients, as measured by paired-pulse somatosensory evoked potentials (ppSEP) stimulated above the level of injury. Eleven SCI patients took part in HAL® assisted BWSTT for 3 months. PpSEP were conducted before and after this training period, where the amplitude ratios (SEP amplitude following double pulses - SEP amplitude following single pulses) were assessed and compared to eleven healthy control subjects. To assess improvement in walking function, we used the 10-m walk test, timed-up-and-go test, the 6-min walk test, and the lower extremity motor score. PpSEPs were significantly increased in SCI patients as compared to controls at baseline. Following training, ppSEPs were increased from baseline and no longer significantly differed from controls. Walking parameters also showed significant improvements, yet there was no significant correlation between ppSEP measures and walking parameters. The findings suggest that robotic-assisted BWSTT with HAL® in SCI patients is capable of inducing cortical plasticity following highly repetitive, active locomotive use of paretic legs. While there was no significant correlation of excitability with walking parameters, brain areas other than S1 might reflect improvement of walking functions. EEG and neuroimaging studies may provide further information about supraspinal plastic processes and foci in SCI rehabilitation.

  7. Effects of 4-Week Intensive Active-Resistive Training with an EMG-Based Exoskeleton Robot on Muscle Strength in Older People: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jongsang Son

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to investigate the idea that an active-resistive training with an EMG-based exoskeleton robot could be beneficial to muscle strength and antagonist muscle cocontraction control after 4-week intensive elbow flexion/extension training. Three older people over 65 years participated the training for an hour per session and completed total 20 sessions during four weeks. Outcome measures were chosen as the maximum joint torque and cocontraction ratio between the biceps/triceps brachii muscles at pre-/post-training. The Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was performed to evaluate paired difference for the outcome measures. As a result, there was no significant difference in the maximum flexion or extension torque at pre- and post-training. However, the cocontraction ratio of the triceps brachii muscle as the antagonist was significantly decreased by 9.8% after the 4-week intensive training. The active-resistive training with the exoskeleton robot in the older people yielded a promising result, showing significant changes in the antagonist muscle cocontraction.

  8. Proposal by simple design of the lower limb exoskeleton of continuous use, provided of own mobility and body load support. Case: application due to an illness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Martinez, Rafael; Lopez-Amaya, Julio Alberto; Urriolagoitia-Sosa, Guillermo; Romero-Ángeles, Beatriz; Urriolagoitia-Calderón, Guillermo Manuel

    2017-01-01

    In recent times it has established a debate between experts and academics about the social and economic impact of advances in robotics. The robotic exoskeletons mounted as suits on affected parts of the human body, represent one of the most significant examples of which is oriented towards robotics. With recent technological advances have increased the fields of application of these devices widely with respect to the first applications were teleoperation and increase in strength of a human being for various tasks. The aim of this work is to contribute as much as possible, to start a discussion about the vision of offering future developments in socio-economic terms and its impact resulting from the use of robotic exoskeletons, especially with regard to its application in medical rehabilitation of lower member and especially its use permanent, replacing cumbersome devices such as crutches, walkers, canes. All this, focused on the health sector, which is most affected by different diseases cannot have access to these devices. In this paper, only it proposes a design that could be inexpensive and used for various ailments.

  9. Closed-Loop Task Difficulty Adaptation during Virtual Reality Reach-to-Grasp Training Assisted with an Exoskeleton for Stroke Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Naros, Georgios; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Stroke patients with severe motor deficits of the upper extremity may practice rehabilitation exercises with the assistance of a multi-joint exoskeleton. Although this technology enables intensive task-oriented training, it may also lead to slacking when the assistance is too supportive. Preserving the engagement of the patients while providing “assistance-as-needed” during the exercises, therefore remains an ongoing challenge. We applied a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton to provide passive gravity compensation during task-oriented training in a virtual environment. During this 4-week pilot study, five severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living. The subjects received virtual reality feedback from their three-dimensional movements. The level of difficulty for the exercise was adjusted by a performance-dependent real-time adaptation algorithm. The goal of this algorithm was the automated improvement of the range of motion. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions, this unsupervised adaptive training concept led to a progressive increase of the virtual training space (p virtual reality provides customized rehabilitation environments for severely affected stroke patients. This approach may facilitate motor learning by progressively challenging the subject in accordance with the individual capacity for functional restoration. It might be necessary to apply concurrent restorative interventions to translate these improvements into relevant functional gains of severely motor impaired patients in activities of daily living. PMID:27895550

  10. Treadmill Training with HAL Exoskeleton-A Novel Approach for Symptomatic Therapy in Patients with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy-Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Kowalewski, Rebecca; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Aach, Mirko; Jansen, Oliver; Grasmücke, Dennis; Güttsches, Anne-Katrin; Vorgerd, Matthias; Tegenthoff, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Exoskeletons have been developed for rehabilitation of patients with walking impairment due to neurological disorders. Recent studies have shown that the voluntary-driven exoskeleton HAL® (hybrid assistive limb) can improve walking functions in spinal cord injury and stroke. The aim of this study was to assess safety and effects on walking function of HAL® supported treadmill therapy in patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). Materials and Methods: Three LGMD patients received 8 weeks of treadmill training with HAL® 3 times a week. Outcome parameters were 10-meter walk test (10 MWT), 6-minute walk test, and timed-up-and-go test (TUG). Parameters were assessed pre and post training and 6 weeks later (follow-up). Results: All patients completed the therapy without adverse reactions and reported about improvement in endurance. Improvements in outcome parameters after 8 weeks could be demonstrated. Persisting effects were observed after 6 weeks for the 10 MWT and TUG test (follow-up). Conclusions: HAL® treadmill training in LGMD patients can be performed safely and enables an intensive highly repetitive locomotor training. All patients benefitted from this innovative method. Upcoming controlled studies with larger cohorts should prove its effects in different types of LGMD and other myopathies.

  11. Selective control of gait subtasks in robotic gait training: foot clearance support in stroke survivors with a powered exoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koopman Bram

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Robot-aided gait training is an emerging clinical tool for gait rehabilitation of neurological patients. This paper deals with a novel method of offering gait assistance, using an impedance controlled exoskeleton (LOPES. The provided assistance is based on a recent finding that, in the control of walking, different modules can be discerned that are associated with different subtasks. In this study, a Virtual Model Controller (VMC for supporting one of these subtasks, namely the foot clearance, is presented and evaluated. Methods The developed VMC provides virtual support at the ankle, to increase foot clearance. Therefore, we first developed a new method to derive reference trajectories of the ankle position. These trajectories consist of splines between key events, which are dependent on walking speed and body height. Subsequently, the VMC was evaluated in twelve healthy subjects and six chronic stroke survivors. The impedance levels, of the support, were altered between trials to investigate whether the controller allowed gradual and selective support. Additionally, an adaptive algorithm was tested, that automatically shaped the amount of support to the subjects’ needs. Catch trials were introduced to determine whether the subjects tended to rely on the support. We also assessed the additional value of providing visual feedback. Results With the VMC, the step height could be selectively and gradually influenced. The adaptive algorithm clearly shaped the support level to the specific needs of every stroke survivor. The provided support did not result in reliance on the support for both groups. All healthy subjects and most patients were able to utilize the visual feedback to increase their active participation. Conclusion The presented approach can provide selective control on one of the essential subtasks of walking. This module is the first in a set of modules to control all subtasks. This enables the therapist to focus

  12. An Adaptive Neuromuscular Controller for Assistive Lower-Limb Exoskeletons: A Preliminary Study on Subjects with Spinal Cord Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy R. Wu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Versatility is important for a wearable exoskeleton controller to be responsive to both the user and the environment. These characteristics are especially important for subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI, where active recruitment of their own neuromuscular system could promote motor recovery. Here we demonstrate the capability of a novel, biologically-inspired neuromuscular controller (NMC which uses dynamical models of lower limb muscles to assist the gait of SCI subjects. Advantages of this controller include robustness, modularity, and adaptability. The controller requires very few inputs (i.e., joint angles, stance, and swing detection, can be decomposed into relevant control modules (e.g., only knee or hip control, and can generate walking at different speeds and terrains in simulation. We performed a preliminary evaluation of this controller on a lower-limb knee and hip robotic gait trainer with seven subjects (N = 7, four with complete paraplegia, two incomplete, one healthy to determine if the NMC could enable normal-like walking. During the experiment, SCI subjects walked with body weight support on a treadmill and could use the handrails. With controller assistance, subjects were able to walk at fast walking speeds for ambulatory SCI subjects—from 0.6 to 1.4 m/s. Measured joint angles and NMC-provided joint torques agreed reasonably well with kinematics and biological joint torques of a healthy subject in shod walking. Some differences were found between the torques, such as the lack of knee flexion near mid-stance, but joint angle trajectories did not seem greatly affected. The NMC also adjusted its torque output to provide more joint work at faster speeds and thus greater joint angles and step length. We also found that the optimal speed-step length curve observed in healthy humans emerged for most of the subjects, albeit with relatively longer step length at faster speeds. Therefore, with very few sensors and no predefined

  13. A methodology for quantifying trace elements in the exoskeletons of Florida stone crab (Menippe mercenaria) larvae using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP–OES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravinese, Philip M.; Flannery, Jennifer A.; Toth, Lauren T.

    2016-11-23

    The larvae of the Florida stone crab, Menippe mercenaria, migrate through a variety of habitats as they develop and, therefore, experience a broad range of environmental conditions through ontogeny. Environmental variability experienced by the larvae may result in distinct elemental signatures within the exoskeletons, which could provide a tool for tracking the environmental history of larval stone crab populations. A method was developed to examine trace-element ratios, specifically magnesium-to-calcium (Mg/Ca) and strontium-to-calcium (Sr/Ca) ratios, in the exoskeletons of M. mercenaria larvae. Two developmental stages of stone crab larvae were analyzed—stage III and stage V. Specimens were reared in a laboratory environment under stable conditions to quantify the average ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca of larval stone crab exoskeletons and to determine if the ratios differed through ontogeny. The elemental compositions (Ca, Mg, and Sr) in samples of stage III larvae (n = 50 per sample) from 11 different broods (mean Sr/Ca = 5.916 ± 0.161 millimole per mole [mmol mol−1]; mean Mg/Ca = 218.275 ± 59.957 mmol mol−1) and stage V larvae (n = 10 per sample) from 12 different broods (mean Sr/Ca = 6.110 ± 0.300 mmol mol−1; mean Mg/Ca = 267.081 ± 67.211 mmol mol–1) were measured using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP–OES). The ratio of Sr/Ca significantly increased from stage III to stage V larvae, suggesting an ontogenic shift in Sr/Ca ratios between larval stages. The ratio of Mg/Ca did not change significantly between larval stages, but variability among broods was high. The method used to examine the trace-element ratios provided robust, highly reproducible estimates of Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios in the larvae of M. mercenaria, demonstrating that ICP–OES can be used to determine the trace-element composition of chitinous organisms like the Florida stone crab.

  14. Post-stroke Rehabilitation Training with a Motor-Imagery-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI-Controlled Hand Exoskeleton: A Randomized Controlled Multicenter Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander A. Frolov

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Repeated use of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs providing contingent sensory feedback of brain activity was recently proposed as a rehabilitation approach to restore motor function after stroke or spinal cord lesions. However, there are only a few clinical studies that investigate feasibility and effectiveness of such an approach. Here we report on a placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial that investigated whether stroke survivors with severe upper limb (UL paralysis benefit from 10 BCI training sessions each lasting up to 40 min. A total of 74 patients participated: median time since stroke is 8 months, 25 and 75% quartiles [3.0; 13.0]; median severity of UL paralysis is 4.5 points [0.0; 30.0] as measured by the Action Research Arm Test, ARAT, and 19.5 points [11.0; 40.0] as measured by the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment, FMMA. Patients in the BCI group (n = 55 performed motor imagery of opening their affected hand. Motor imagery-related brain electroencephalographic activity was translated into contingent hand exoskeleton-driven opening movements of the affected hand. In a control group (n = 19, hand exoskeleton-driven opening movements of the affected hand were independent of brain electroencephalographic activity. Evaluation of the UL clinical assessments indicated that both groups improved, but only the BCI group showed an improvement in the ARAT's grasp score from 0 [0.0; 14.0] to 3.0 [0.0; 15.0] points (p < 0.01 and pinch scores from 0.0 [0.0; 7.0] to 1.0 [0.0; 12.0] points (p < 0.01. Upon training completion, 21.8% and 36.4% of the patients in the BCI group improved their ARAT and FMMA scores respectively. The corresponding numbers for the control group were 5.1% (ARAT and 15.8% (FMMA. These results suggests that adding BCI control to exoskeleton-assisted physical therapy can improve post-stroke rehabilitation outcomes. Both maximum and mean values of the percentage of successfully decoded imagery-related EEG activity, were higher

  15. To move as a human. Comment on "The embodiment of assistive devices-from wheelchair to exoskeleton" by M. Pazzaglia and M. Molinari

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadimitriou, Christina

    2016-03-01

    I agree with the authors, that ;there have been very few attempts to develop user-centered medical technologies; [1] in the field of rehabilitation for persons with disabilities and wheelchair users in particular. The human-environment context in which humans plan and inhabit their actions as wheelchair users has not been extensively studied. The authors' unique work explores how a person embodies an exoskeleton (robotic legs or a wheelchair) in their everyday life and focuses on proprioception and brain's capacity to enlarge one's body schema in order to understand users' perspectives. Ultimately, Pazzaglia and Molinari wish to support persons who use assistive devices adapt and have successful, meaningful lives. The work is neuro-scientifically grounded, but doesn't forget the emotional or affective aspects of the user.

  16. The kinematic portrait of a patient as an objective indicator of motor function in the process of neurorehabilitation with hand exoskeleton controlled by the brain – computer interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    А. А. Kondur

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The results of biomechanical analysis of the motor function of the arm of poststroke patient in the process of neuroreha bilitation with exoskeleton of the hand controlled by brain – computer interface are presented in this paper. At the beginning and end of the course it was registered the kinematic portrait of the patient– isolated random movements for each of the seven degrees of freedom as the paretic and intact arms.Angular accelerations were taken as an assessment of muscle forces, the number of reverse movements was taken as an assessment of joint spasticity, and the kinematic content of the movement as a description of pathological synergy arising after stroke. These parameters give an objective numerical asses sment of motor function as well as of rehabilitation technology effectiveness.

  17. Production and characterization of chitosan obtained from shrimp exoskeleton; Producao e caracterizacao de quitosana obtida a partir do exoesqueleto do camarao

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, Leticia P.; Aguiar, Nayara V.; Rodrigues, Willias da L.; Silva, Rafael S. da; Moreira, Carly K.P., E-mail: leticiaalmeida_26@hotmail.com [Universidade do Estado do Amapa (UEAP), Macapa, AP (Brazil)

    2015-07-01

    Chitosan is a natural polymer, biocompatible, biodegradable and non-toxic. It's derived from the deacetylation of chitin, which constitutes the most part of the exoskeleton of insects, crustaceans and fungal cell wall. After cellulose, chitin is more organic compound found in nature. The Chitin was separated from others components of shrimp waste (Macrobrachium amazonicum) by a chemical process that involves three steps: demineralization, deproteination and depigmentation. The chitosan produced was characterized by potentiometric titration, to find the degree of deacetylation (85,32 %), determining the intrinsic viscosity to define its molecular weight (503.223 g/mol), and X-ray diffraction to determine its crystallinity index (58,4 %). (author)

  18. Brain state-dependent robotic reaching movement with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton: combining brain-machine interfacing and robotic rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauchle, Daniel; Vukelić, Mathias; Bauer, Robert; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2015-01-01

    While robot-assisted arm and hand training after stroke allows for intensive task-oriented practice, it has provided only limited additional benefit over dose-matched physiotherapy up to now. These rehabilitation devices are possibly too supportive during the exercises. Neurophysiological signals might be one way of avoiding slacking and providing robotic support only when the brain is particularly responsive to peripheral input. We tested the feasibility of three-dimensional robotic assistance for reaching movements with a multi-joint exoskeleton during motor imagery (MI)-related desynchronization of sensorimotor oscillations in the β-band. We also registered task-related network changes of cortical functional connectivity by electroencephalography via the imaginary part of the coherence function. Healthy subjects and stroke survivors showed similar patterns-but different aptitudes-of controlling the robotic movement. All participants in this pilot study with nine healthy subjects and two stroke patients achieved their maximum performance during the early stages of the task. Robotic control was significantly higher and less variable when proprioceptive feedback was provided in addition to visual feedback, i.e., when the orthosis was actually attached to the subject's arm during the task. A distributed cortical network of task-related coherent activity in the θ-band showed significant differences between healthy subjects and stroke patients as well as between early and late periods of the task. Brain-robot interfaces (BRIs) may successfully link three-dimensional robotic training to the participants' efforts and allow for task-oriented practice of activities of daily living with a physiologically controlled multi-joint exoskeleton. Changes of cortical physiology during the task might also help to make subject-specific adjustments of task difficulty and guide adjunct interventions to facilitate motor learning for functional restoration, a proposal that warrants

  19. Cadmium bound to metal rich granules and exoskeleton from Gammarus pulex causes increased gut lipid peroxidation in zebrafish following single dietary exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khan, F.R., E-mail: fkhan@wlu.ca [Nutritional Sciences Division, King' s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH (United Kingdom); Bury, N.R.; Hogstrand, C. [Nutritional Sciences Division, King' s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH (United Kingdom)

    2010-01-31

    There has been a growing interest in establishing how the sub-cellular distribution of metals in macro-invertebrate prey affects metal trophic bioavailability and toxicity. In this study, the crustacean Gammarus pulex was exposed to 300 {mu}g Cd l{sup -1} spiked with {sup 109}Cd for 13 days, from which the two principal metal containing sub-cellular fractions, the metallothionein-like protein (MTLP) and the metal rich granule and exoskeleton (MRG + exo) were isolated. These fractions were produced at equal metal content, incorporated into gelatin and fed to zebrafish as a single meal; assimilation efficiency (AE), carcass and gut tissue metal concentrations and gut lipid peroxidative damage measured as malondialdehyde (MDA) were assessed. The AE of cadmium bound to the MTLP fraction was 32.1 {+-} 5.6% which was significantly greater than the AE of MRG + exo bound Cd, 13.0 {+-} 2.1% (p < 0.05). Of the metal retained by the fish at 72 h post-feeding, 94% of MTLP-Cd had been incorporated into the carcass, whereas a significant proportion (46%) of MRG + exo-Cd, although assimilated, appeared to remain associated with intestinal tissue. However, this did not translate into a gut tissue concentration difference with 6.8 {+-} 1.2 ng Cd g{sup -1} in fish fed MTLP-Cd compared to 9.5 {+-} 1.4 ng Cd g{sup -1} in fish fed MRG + exo fraction. Both feeds led to significantly increased MDA levels compared to the control group (gelatin only feed), but MRG + exo feed caused significantly more oxidative damage than the MTLP feed (p < 0.01). Thus, MTLP-Cd is more bioavailable than the cadmium bound to granules and exoskeleton, but it was the latter fraction, largely considered as having limited bioavailability, that appeared to exert a greater localised oxidative injury to the digestive tract of zebrafish.

  20. [Early functional passive mobilization of flexor tendon injuries of the hand (zone 2) : Exercise with an exoskeleton compared to physical therapy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gülke, Joachim; Mentzel, Martin; Krischak, Gert; Gulkin, David; Dornacher, Daniel; Wachter, Nikolaus

    2017-07-20

    These days there are different types of aftercare following flexor tendon injury. Patients in this study received a dynamic Kleinert protocol and additionally two different postoperative treatments. Both treatment groups were compared to each other and results were put into perspective when compared to other treatment options. Sixty-two patients presenting with clean lesions of the two flexor tendons in zone 2 received postoperative treatment with a dynamic Kleinert protocol. Patients were randomly divided into either Group I (physical therapy) or Group II (exoskeleton). Range of motion was assessed after 6, 12 and 18 weeks. In addition, we measured the Strickland score and grip strength at the 18-week follow-up. DASH scores were obtained at weeks 12 and 18. Regardless of the received postoperative treatment, range of motion was predominantly limited in the proximal interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints after 6 weeks. This deficit decreased with time and almost full range of motion was achieved after 18 weeks. Grip strength measured 75% (Group I) and 78% (Group II) of the healthy hand's level. Good functional outcome was observed in the DASH scores after 12 weeks, which improved further, measuring 7.5 (Group I) and 6.8 (Group II) at the 18-week follow-up. We did not see any clinically relevant differences between the two patient groups. Regarding possible reruptures, the Kleinert protocol delivers a safe treatment regime. The possible disadvantage of flexion contractures with the Kleinert protocol was not seen in our measurements. Additional motion exercises using an exoskeleton delivered comparable results to classic physical therapy.

  1. Brain-state dependent robotic reaching movement with a multi-joint arm exoskeleton: combining brain-machine interfacing and robotic rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eBrauchle

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available While robot-assisted arm and hand training after stroke allows for intensive task-oriented practice, it has provided only limited additional benefit over dose-matched physiotherapy up to now. These rehabilitation devices are possibly too supportive during the exercises. Neurophysiological signals might be one way of avoiding slacking and providing robotic support only when the brain is particularly responsive to peripheral input.We tested the feasibility of three-dimensional robotic assistance for reach-to-grasp movements with a multi-joint exoskeleton during motor imagery-related desynchronization of sensorimotor oscillations in the β-band only. We also registered task-related network changes of cortical functional connectivity by electroencephalography via the imaginary part of the coherence function.Healthy subjects and stroke survivors showed similar patterns – but different aptitudes – of controlling the robotic movement. All participants in this pilot study with nine healthy subjects and two stroke patients achieved their maximum performance during the early stages of the task. Robotic control was significantly higher and less variable when proprioceptive feedback was provided in addition to visual feedback, i.e. when the orthosis was actually attached to the subject’s arm during the task. A distributed cortical network of task-related coherent activity in the θ-band showed significant differences between healthy subjects and stroke patients as well as between early and late periods of the task.Brain-robot interfaces may successfully link three-dimensional robotic training to the participants’ efforts and allow for task-oriented practice of activities of daily living with a physiologically controlled multi-joint exoskeleton. Changes of cortical physiology during the task might also help to make subject-specific adjustments of task difficulty and guide adjunct interventions to facilitate motor learning for functional restoration.

  2. Human-Exoskeleton Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dijk, W.

    2015-01-01

    Walking is a very efficient way of getting around and covering large distances. Due to impairments or in extreme conditions, such as carrying a heavy load, one might encounter difficulties while walking. In many cases, wheeled vehicles offer a solution. However, wheeled vehicles are often not

  3. Exoskeletons and economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leong, Misha; Bertone, Matthew A.; Bayless, Keith M.

    2016-01-01

    In urban ecosystems, socioeconomics contribute to patterns of biodiversity. The 'luxury effect', in which wealthier neighbourhoods are more biologically diverse, has been observed for plants, birds, bats and lizards. Here, we used data from a survey of indoor arthropod diversity (defined througho...

  4. Closed-Loop Task Difficulty Adaptation during Virtual Reality Reach-to-Grasp Training Assisted with an Exoskeleton for Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Florian; Naros, Georgios; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    Stroke patients with severe motor deficits of the upper extremity may practice rehabilitation exercises with the assistance of a multi-joint exoskeleton. Although this technology enables intensive task-oriented training, it may also lead to slacking when the assistance is too supportive. Preserving the engagement of the patients while providing "assistance-as-needed" during the exercises, therefore remains an ongoing challenge. We applied a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton to provide passive gravity compensation during task-oriented training in a virtual environment. During this 4-week pilot study, five severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living. The subjects received virtual reality feedback from their three-dimensional movements. The level of difficulty for the exercise was adjusted by a performance-dependent real-time adaptation algorithm. The goal of this algorithm was the automated improvement of the range of motion. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions, this unsupervised adaptive training concept led to a progressive increase of the virtual training space ( p < 0.001) in accordance with the subjects' abilities. This learning curve was paralleled by a concurrent improvement of real world kinematic parameters, i.e., range of motion ( p = 0.008), accuracy of movement ( p = 0.01), and movement velocity ( p < 0.001). Notably, these kinematic gains were paralleled by motor improvements such as increased elbow movement ( p = 0.001), grip force ( p < 0.001), and upper extremity Fugl-Meyer-Assessment score from 14.3 ± 5 to 16.9 ± 6.1 ( p = 0.026). Combining gravity-compensating assistance with adaptive closed-loop feedback in virtual reality provides customized rehabilitation environments for severely affected stroke patients. This approach may facilitate motor learning by progressively challenging the subject in accordance with the individual capacity

  5. Design and Optimization of an EEG-Based Brain Machine Interface (BMI) to an Upper-Limb Exoskeleton for Stroke Survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhagat, Nikunj A; Venkatakrishnan, Anusha; Abibullaev, Berdakh; Artz, Edward J; Yozbatiran, Nuray; Blank, Amy A; French, James; Karmonik, Christof; Grossman, Robert G; O'Malley, Marcia K; Francisco, Gerard E; Contreras-Vidal, Jose L

    2016-01-01

    This study demonstrates the feasibility of detecting motor intent from brain activity of chronic stroke patients using an asynchronous electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain machine interface (BMI). Intent was inferred from movement related cortical potentials (MRCPs) measured over an optimized set of EEG electrodes. Successful intent detection triggered the motion of an upper-limb exoskeleton (MAHI Exo-II), to guide movement and to encourage active user participation by providing instantaneous sensory feedback. Several BMI design features were optimized to increase system performance in the presence of single-trial variability of MRCPs in the injured brain: (1) an adaptive time window was used for extracting features during BMI calibration; (2) training data from two consecutive days were pooled for BMI calibration to increase robustness to handle the day-to-day variations typical of EEG, and (3) BMI predictions were gated by residual electromyography (EMG) activity from the impaired arm, to reduce the number of false positives. This patient-specific BMI calibration approach can accommodate a broad spectrum of stroke patients with diverse motor capabilities. Following BMI optimization on day 3, testing of the closed-loop BMI-MAHI exoskeleton, on 4th and 5th days of the study, showed consistent BMI performance with overall mean true positive rate (TPR) = 62.7 ± 21.4% on day 4 and 67.1 ± 14.6% on day 5. The overall false positive rate (FPR) across subjects was 27.74 ± 37.46% on day 4 and 27.5 ± 35.64% on day 5; however for two subjects who had residual motor function and could benefit from the EMG-gated BMI, the mean FPR was quite low (< 10%). On average, motor intent was detected -367 ± 328 ms before movement onset during closed-loop operation. These findings provide evidence that closed-loop EEG-based BMI for stroke patients can be designed and optimized to perform well across multiple days without system recalibration.

  6. Design and optimization of an EEG-based brain machine interface (BMI to an upper-limb exoskeleton for stroke survivors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikunj Arunkumar Bhagat

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study demonstrates the feasibility of detecting motor intent from brain activity of chronic stroke patients using an asynchronous electroencephalography (EEG-based brain machine interface (BMI. Intent was inferred from movement related cortical potentials (MRCPs measured over an optimized set of EEG electrodes. Successful intent detection triggered the motion of an upper-limb exoskeleton (MAHI Exo-II, to guide movement and to encourage active user participation by providing instantaneous sensory feedback. Several BMI design features were optimized to increase system performance in the presence of single-trial variability of MRCPs in the injured brain: 1 an adaptive time window was used for extracting features during BMI calibration; 2 training data from two consecutive days were pooled for BMI calibration to increase robustness to handle the day-to-day variations typical of EEG, and 3 BMI predictions were gated by residual electromyography (EMG activity from the impaired arm, to reduce the number of false positives. This patient-specific BMI calibration approach can accommodate a broad spectrum of stroke patients with diverse motor capabilities. Following BMI optimization on day 3, testing of the closed-loop BMI-MAHI exoskeleton, on 4th and 5th days of the study, showed consistent BMI performance with overall mean true positive rate (TPR = 62.7 +/- 21.4 % on day 4 and 67.1 +/- 14.6 % on day 5. The overall false positive rate (FPR across subjects was 27.74 +/- 37.46 % on day 4 and 27.5 +/- 35.64 % on day 5; however for two subjects who had residual motor function and could benefit from the EMG-gated BMI, the mean FPR was quite low (< 10 %. On average, motor intent was detected -367 +/- 328 ms before movement onset during closed-loop operation. These findings provide evidence that closed-loop EEG-based BMI for stroke patients can be designed and optimized to perform well across multiple days without system recalibration.

  7. Closed-loop task difficulty adaptation during virtual reality reach-to-grasp training assisted with an exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Grimm

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stroke patients with severe motor deficits of the upper extremity may practice rehabilitation exercises with the assistance of a multi-joint exoskeleton. Although this technology enables intensive task-oriented training, it may also lead to slacking when the assistance is too supportive. Preserving the engagement of the patients while providing assistance-as-needed during the exercises, therefore remains an ongoing challenge.We applied a commercially available seven degree-of-freedom arm exoskeleton to provide passive gravity compensation during task-oriented training in a virtual environment. During this four-week pilot study, five severely affected chronic stroke patients performed reach-to-grasp exercises resembling activities of daily living. The subjects received virtual reality feedback from their three-dimensional movements. The level of difficulty for the exercise was adjusted by a performance-dependent real-time adaptation algorithm. The goal of this algorithm was the automated improvement of the range of motion. In the course of 20 training and feedback sessions, this unsupervised adaptive training concept led to a progressive increase of the virtual training space (p<0.001 in accordance with the subjects’ abilities. This learning curve was paralleled by a concurrent improvement of real world kinematic parameters, i.e., range of motion (p=0.008, accuracy of movement (p=0.01, and movement velocity (p<0.001. Notably, these kinematic gains were paralleled by motor improvements such as increased elbow movement (p=0.001, grip force (p<0.001, and upper extremity Fugl-Meyer-Assessment score from 14.3 ± 5 to 16.9 ± 6.1 (p=0.026.Combining gravity-compensating assistance with adaptive closed-loop feedback in virtual reality provides customized rehabilitation environments for severely affected stroke patients. This approach may facilitate motor learning by progressively challenging the subject in accordance with the individual capacity for

  8. The combined action of a passive exoskeleton and an EMG-controlled neuroprosthesis for upper limb stroke rehabilitation: First results of the RETRAINER project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosini, E; Ferrante, S; Zajc, J; Bulgheroni, M; Baccinelli, W; d'Amico, E; Schauer, T; Wiesener, C; Russold, M; Gfoehler, M; Puchinger, M; Weber, M; Becker, S; Krakow, K; Rossini, M; Proserpio, D; Gasperini, G; Molteni, F; Ferrigno, G; Pedrocchi, A

    2017-07-01

    The combined use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and robotic technologies is advocated to improve rehabilitation outcomes after stroke. This work describes an arm rehabilitation system developed within the European project RETRAINER. The system consists of a passive 4-degrees-of-freedom exoskeleton equipped with springs to provide gravity compensation and electromagnetic brakes to hold target positions. FES is integrated in the system to provide additional support to the most impaired muscles. FES is triggered based on the volitional EMG signal of the same stimulated muscle; in order to encourage the active involvement of the patient the volitional EMG is also monitored throughout the task execution and based on it a happy or sad emoji is visualized at the end of each task. The control interface control of the system provides a GUI and multiple software tools to organize rehabilitation exercises and monitor rehabilitation progress. The functionality and the usability of the system was evaluated on four stroke patients. All patients were able to use the system and judged positively its wearability and the provided support. They were able to trigger the stimulation based on their residual muscle activity and provided different levels of active involvement in the exercise, in agreement with their level of impairment. A randomized controlled trial aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the RETRAINER system to improve arm function after stroke is currently ongoing.

  9. Feedback Control of arm movements using Neuro-Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES combined with a lockable, passive exoskeleton for gravity compensation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eKlauer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the European project MUNDUS, an assistive framework was developed for the support of arm and hand functions during daily life activities in severely impaired people. Potential users of this system are patients with high-level spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative neuromuscular diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Friedreich ataxia, and multiple sclerosis. This contribution aims at designing a feedback control system for Neuro-Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES to enable reaching functions in people with no residual voluntary control of the arm due to upper motor neuron lesions after spinal cord injury. NMES is applied to the deltoids and the biceps muscles and integrated with a three degrees of freedom (DoFs passive exoskeleton, which partially compensates gravitational forces and allows to lock each DOF. The user is able to choose the target hand position and to trigger actions using an eyetracker system. The target position is selected by using the eyetracker and determined by a marker-based tracking system using Microsoft Kinect. A central controller, i.e. a finite state machine, issues a sequence of basic movement commands to the real-time arm controller. The NMES control algorithm sequentially controls each joint angle while locking the other DoFs. Daily activities, such as drinking, brushing hair, pushing an alarm button, etc., can be supported by the system. The robust and easily tunable control approach was evaluated with five healthy subjects during a drinking task. Subjects were asked to remain passive and to allow NMES to induce the movements. In all of them, the controller was able to perform the task, and a mean hand positioning error of less than five centimeters was achieved. The average total time duration for moving the hand from a rest position to a drinking cup, for moving the cup to the mouth and back, and for finally returning the arm to the rest position was 71 seconds.

  10. Impact of locomotion training with a neurologic controlled hybrid assistive limb (HAL) exoskeleton on neuropathic pain and health related quality of life (HRQoL) in chronic SCI: a case study (.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruciger, Oliver; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Meindl, Renate C; Tegenthoff, Martin; Schwenkreis, Peter; Citak, Mustafa; Aach, Mirko

    2016-08-01

    Chronic neuropathic pain (CNP) is a common condition associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) and has been reported to be severe, disabling and often treatment-resistant and therefore remains a clinical challenge for the attending physicians. The treatment usually includes pharmacological and/or nonpharmacological approaches. Body weight supported treadmill training (BWSTT) and locomotion training with driven gait orthosis (DGO) have evolved over the last decades and are now considered to be an established part in the rehabilitation of SCI patients. Conventional locomotion training goes along with improvements of the patients' walking abilities in particular speed and gait pattern. The neurologic controlled hybrid assistive limb (HAL®, Cyberdyne Inc., Ibraki, Japan) exoskeleton, however, is a new tailored approach to support motor functions synchronously to the patient's voluntary drive. This report presents two cases of severe chronic and therapy resistant neuropathic pain due to chronic SCI and demonstrates the beneficial effects of neurologic controlled exoskeletal intervention on pain severity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Both of these patients were engaged in a 12 weeks period of daily HAL®-supported locomotion training. In addition to improvements in motor functions and walking abilities, both show significant reduction in pain severity and improvements in all HRQoL domains. Although various causal factors likely contribute to abatement of CNP, the reported results occurred due to a new approach in the rehabilitation of chronic spinal cord injury patients. These findings suggest not only the feasibility of this new approach but in conclusion, demonstrate the effectiveness of neurologic controlled locomotion training in the long-term management of refractory neuropathic pain. Implications for Rehabilitation CNP remains a challenge in the rehabilitation of chronic SCI patients. Locomotion training with the HAL exoskeleton seems to improve CNP

  11. Against the odds: what to expect in rehabilitation of chronic spinal cord injury with a neurologically controlled Hybrid Assistive Limb exoskeleton. A subgroup analysis of 55 patients according to age and lesion level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grasmücke, Dennis; Zieriacks, Amrei; Jansen, Oliver; Fisahn, Christian; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Wessling, Martin; Meindl, Renate C; Schildhauer, Thomas A; Aach, Mirko

    2017-05-01

    Objective Age and lesion level are believed to represent outcome predictors in rehabilitation of patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). The Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) exoskeleton enables patients to perform a voluntary controlled gait pattern via an electromyography-triggered neuromuscular feedback system, and has been introduced as a temporary gait training tool in patients with SCI. The aim of this prospective pre- and postintervention study was to examine functional outcomes as a function of age and lesion level in patients with chronic incomplete SCI (iSCI) or chronic complete SCI (cSCI) with zones of partial preservation (ZPP) by using the HAL as a temporary training tool. Methods Fifty-five participants with chronic iSCI or cSCI (mean time since injury 6.85 ± 5.12 years) were classified according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) and divided by age (therapy, without HAL assistance. Results Overall, a time reduction of 47% in the 10MWT, self-selected speed (10MWTsss) (exoskeleton. An improvement of approximately 50% in the 10MWTsss and in gait endurance (6MinWT) can be expected from such training. The influences of SCI lesion level and age on functional outcome were nonsignificant in the present study. Older age (≥ 50 years) may be associated with smaller improvements in the 10MWTsss. An iSCI in paraplegic patients with spastic motor behavior may be a nonsignificant negative predictor in gait endurance improvements. Clinical trial registration no.: DRKS00010250 ( https://drks-neu.uniklinik-freiburg.de/drks_web/setLocale_DE.do ).

  12. Innovative EVA Glove Exoskeleton Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Dexterous performance degradation resulting from donning an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) glove limits the capability of astronauts to perform certain tasks in...

  13. Feasibility and efficacy of high-speed gait training with a voluntary driven exoskeleton robot for gait and balance dysfunction in patients with chronic stroke: nonrandomized pilot study with concurrent control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimoto, Takahiko; Shimizu, Issei; Hiroi, Yasuhiro; Kawaki, Masahiro; Sato, Daichi; Nagasawa, Makoto

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the feasibility of high-speed gait training with an exoskeleton robot hybrid assistive limb (HAL) in patients with chronic stroke, and to examine the efficacy of eight sessions (8 weeks) of gait training with a HAL compared with conventional physical therapy. Eighteen patients with chronic stroke were included in this study (nine each in the HAL and control groups). The HAL group underwent high-speed gait training with the HAL once a week for 8 weeks (20 min/session). The control group underwent conventional physical therapy for gait disturbance. Outcome measures were walking speed, number of steps, and cadence during a 10 m walking test, a timed up and go test, a functional reach test, and the Berg Balance Scale. Assessments were performed in the absence of the HAL before training and after the fourth and eighth training sessions. All patients in the HAL group completed the high-speed gait training without adverse events. The HAL group improved significantly in walking speed (55.9% increase, P<0.001), number of steps (17.6% decrease, P<0.01), and cadence (32.8% increase, P<0.001) during the 10 m walking test. The patients also exhibited significant improvements in the timed up and go test, the functional reach test, and the Berg Balance Scale after HAL training (P<0.01 in all). No statistical time-dependent changes were observed in any parameter in the control group. For chronic stroke patients, high-speed gait training with a HAL appears to be feasible and effective in improving gait and balance dysfunction despite the limitations of this nonrandomized pilot study.

  14. HUMAN HAND STUDY FOR ROBOTIC EXOSKELETON DELVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BIROUAS Flaviu Ionut

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper will be presenting research with application in the rehabilitation of hand motor functions by the aid of robotics. The focus will be on the dimensional parameters of the biological human hand from which the robotic system will be developed. The term used for such measurements is known as anthropometrics. The anthropometric parameters studied and presented in this paper are mainly related to the angular limitations of the finger joints of the human hand.

  15. A finger exoskeleton for rehabilitation and brain image study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Zhenjin; Sugano, Shigeki; Iwata, Hiroyasu

    2013-06-01

    This paper introduces the design, fabrication and evaluation of the second generation prototype of a magnetic resonance compatible finger rehabilitation robot. It can not only be used as a finger rehabilitation training tool after a stroke, but also to study the brain's recovery process during the rehabilitation therapy (ReT). The mechanical design of the current generation has overcome the disadvantage in the previous version[13], which can't provide precise finger trajectories during flexion and extension motion varying with different finger joints' torques. In addition, in order to study the brain activation under different training strategies, three control modes have been developed, compared to only one control mode in the last prototype. The current prototype, like the last version, uses an ultrasonic motor as its actuator to enable the patient to do extension and flexion rehabilitation exercises in two degrees of freedom (DOF) for each finger. Finally, experiments have been carried out to evaluate the performances of this device.

  16. Hyperstaticity for ergonomie design of a wrist exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeili, Mohammad; Jarrassé, Nathanaël; Dailey, Wayne; Burdet, Etienne; Campolo, Domenico

    2013-06-01

    Increasing the level of transparency in rehabilitation devices has been one of the main goals in robot-aided neurorehabilitation for the past two decades. This issue is particularly important to robotic structures that mimic the human counterpart's morphology and attach directly to the limb. Problems arise for complex joints such as the human wrist, which cannot be accurately matched with a traditional mechanical joint. In such cases, mechanical differences between human and robotic joint cause hyperstaticity (i.e. overconstraint) which, coupled with kinematic misalignments, leads to uncontrolled force/torque at the joint. This paper focuses on the prono-supination (PS) degree of freedom of the forearm. The overall force and torque in the wrist PS rotation is quantified by means of a wrist robot. A practical solution to avoid hyperstaticity and reduce the level of undesired force/torque in the wrist is presented, which is shown to reduce 75% of the force and 68% of the torque.

  17. The embodiment of assistive devices-from wheelchair to exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazzaglia, Mariella; Molinari, Marco

    2016-03-01

    Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) place a heavy burden on the healthcare system and have a high personal impact and marked socio-economic consequences. Clinically, no absolute cure for these conditions exists. However, in recent years, there has been an increased focus on new robotic technologies that can change the frame we think about the prognosis for recovery and for treating some functions of the body affected after SCIs. This review has two goals. The first is to assess the possibility of the embodiment of functional assistive tools after traumatic disruption of the neural pathways between the brain and the body. To this end, we will examine how altered sensorimotor information modulates the sense of the body in SCI. The second goal is to map the phenomenological experience of using external tools that typically extend the potential of the body physically impaired by SCI. More specifically, we will focus on the difference between the perception of one's physically augmented and non-augmented affected body based on observable and measurable behaviors. We discuss potential clinical benefits of enhanced embodiment of the external objects by way of multisensory interventions. This review argues that the future evolution of human robotic technologies will require adopting an embodied approach, taking advantage of brain plasticity to allow bionic limbs to be mapped within the neural circuits of physically impaired individuals.

  18. Exoskeletons and economics: indoor arthropod diversity increases in affluent neighbourhoods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Misha; Bertone, Matthew A; Bayless, Keith M; Dunn, Robert R; Trautwein, Michelle D

    2016-08-01

    In urban ecosystems, socioeconomics contribute to patterns of biodiversity. The 'luxury effect', in which wealthier neighbourhoods are more biologically diverse, has been observed for plants, birds, bats and lizards. Here, we used data from a survey of indoor arthropod diversity (defined throughout as family-level richness) from 50 urban houses and found that house size, surrounding vegetation, as well as mean neighbourhood income best predict the number of kinds of arthropods found indoors. Our finding, that homes in wealthier neighbourhoods host higher indoor arthropod diversity (consisting of primarily non-pest species), shows that the luxury effect can extend to the indoor environment. The effect of mean neighbourhood income on indoor arthropod diversity was particularly strong for individual houses that lacked high surrounding vegetation ground cover, suggesting that neighbourhood dynamics can compensate for local choices of homeowners. Our work suggests that the management of neighbourhoods and cities can have effects on biodiversity that can extend from trees and birds all the way to the arthropod life in bedrooms and basements. © 2016 The Authors.

  19. Hand Rehabilitation Learning System With an Exoskeleton Robotic Glove.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhou; Ben-Tzvi, Pinhas; Danoff, Jerome

    2016-12-01

    This paper presents a hand rehabilitation learning system, the SAFE Glove, a device that can be utilized to enhance the rehabilitation of subjects with disabilities. This system is able to learn fingertip motion and force for grasping different objects and then record and analyze the common movements of hand function including grip and release patterns. The glove is then able to reproduce these movement patterns in playback fashion to assist a weakened hand to accomplish these movements, or to modulate the assistive level based on the user's or therapist's intent for the purpose of hand rehabilitation therapy. Preliminary data have been collected from healthy hands. To demonstrate the glove's ability to manipulate the hand, the glove has been fitted on a wooden hand and the grasping of various objects was performed. To further prove that hands can be safely driven by this haptic mechanism, force sensor readings placed between each finger and the mechanism are plotted. These experimental results demonstrate the potential of the proposed system in rehabilitation therapy.

  20. Exoskeletons: Generating Content for Popular Music in 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Casey Ann

    2016-01-01

    People all over the world are engaging with popular music, particularly through social media platforms, where views are often in the billions and climbing. Sacks (2007), a world-renowned neurologist, coined the term "earworms" to refer to songs that play repetitively in one's head for no apparent reason, sometimes for days, even years,…

  1. A Human Factors Evaluation of Exoskeleton Boot Interface Sole Thickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    Abduction Adduction Adduction Abduction Flexion Extension Flexion Extension Dorsiflexion Plantarflexion 23 Appendix B. Comfort, Stability, and...sense is affected by shoe sole thickness but only in dorsiflexion . Our investigation sought to identify, through biomechanical evaluation, human

  2. Do exoskeletons dream of plastic sleep?. Comment on "The embodiment of assistive devices-from wheelchair to exoskeleton" by M. Pazzaglia and M. Molinari

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Michele; Tempesta, Daniela; De Gennaro, Luigi

    2016-03-01

    In the science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick ;Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; [2] Blade Runners used a polygraph-like machine to determine if an individual was a replicant, by measuring his/her empathetic responses. Although made of biological materials and physically indistinguishable from humans, androids were considered to be pieces of machinery.

  3. Force control theory and method of human load carrying exoskeleton suit

    CERN Document Server

    Yang, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jing; Gui, Lihua

    2017-01-01

    This book reports on the latest advances in concepts and further development of principal component analysis (PCA), discussing in detail a number of open problems related to dimensional reduction techniques and their extensions. It brings together research findings, previously scattered throughout many scientific journal papers worldwide, and presents them in a methodologically unified form. Offering vital insights into the subject matter in self-contained chapters that balance the theory and concrete applications, and focusing on open problems, it is essential reading for all researchers and practitioners with an interest in PCA.

  4. Robotic exoskeleton with an assist-as-needed control strategy for gait rehabilitation after stroke

    OpenAIRE

    Bortole, Magdo

    2016-01-01

    Stroke is a loss of brain function caused by a disturbance on the blood supply to the brain. The main consequence of a stroke is a serious long-term disability, and it affects millions of people around the world every year. Motor recovery after stroke is primarily based on physical therapy and the most common rehabilitation method focuses on the task specific approach. Gait is one of the most important daily life activity affected in stroke victims, leading to poor ambulatory activity. Theref...

  5. EMG-driven models of human-machine interaction in individuals wearing the H2 exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Durandau, Guillaume; Sartori, Massimo; Bortole, Magdo; Moreno, Juan C.; Pons, José L.; Farina, Dario

    2016-01-01

    EMG-driven modeling has been mostly used offline and on powerful desktop computers, limiting the application of this technique to neurorehabilitation settings. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of EMG-driven modeling in online (i.e. in real-time) running on a fully portable embedded system and

  6. System characterization of RiceWrist-S: a forearm-wrist exoskeleton for upper extremity rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlivan, Ali Utku; Rose, Chad; O'Malley, Marcia K

    2013-06-01

    Rehabilitation of the distal joints of the upper extremities is crucial to restore the ability to perform activities of daily living to patients with neurological lesions resulting from stroke or spinal cord injury. Robotic rehabilitation has been identified as a promising new solution, however, much of the existing technology in this field is focused on the more proximal joints of the upper arm. A recently presented device, the RiceWrist-S, focuses on the rehabilitation of the forearm and wrist, and has undergone a few important design changes. This paper first addresses the design improvements achieved in the recent design iteration, and then presents the system characterization of the new device. We show that the RiceWrist-S has capabilities beyond other existing devices, and exhibits favorable system characteristics as a rehabilitation device, in particular torque output, range of motion, closed loop position performance, and high spatial resolution.

  7. Exoskeleton Technology in Rehabilitation: Towards an EMG-Based Orthosis System for Upper Limb Neuromotor Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Manuel Vaca Benitez

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The rehabilitation of patients should not only be limited to the first phases during intense hospital care but also support and therapy should be guaranteed in later stages, especially during daily life activities if the patient’s state requires this. However, aid should only be given to the patient if needed and as much as it is required. To allow this, automatic self-initiated movement support and patient-cooperative control strategies have to be developed and integrated into assistive systems. In this work, we first give an overview of different kinds of neuromuscular diseases, review different forms of therapy, and explain possible fields of rehabilitation and benefits of robotic aided rehabilitation. Next, the mechanical design and control scheme of an upper limb orthosis for rehabilitation are presented. Two control models for the orthosis are explained which compute the triggering function and the level of assistance provided by the device. As input to the model fused sensor data from the orthosis and physiology data in terms of electromyography (EMG signals are used.

  8. Redundancy and joint limits of a seven degree of freedom upper limb exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Levi Makaio; Kim, Hyunchul; Rosen, Jacob

    2011-01-01

    The seven degree of freedom arm model is widely used in robotics, computer graphics, and much more. For wearable robotic systems, which are subject to joint limits, it is desirable to relate the joint limits to the redundantly of the system. A brief review of the arm model, redundant space and kinematics is presented. Following this review a closed form method is developed calculate the interval of the swivel angle (which characterizes the redundancy) that produces arm configurations that stay within joint limits.

  9. Evaluation of a Virtual Model Control for the selective support of gait functions using an exoskeleton

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ekkelenkamp, R.; Ekkelenkamp, R.; Veltink, Petrus H.; Stramigioli, Stefano; van der Kooij, Herman

    Robotic gait trainers are used all over the world for the rehabilitation of stroke patients, despite relatively little is known about how the robots should be controlled to achieve the optimal improvement. Most devices control complete joint trajectories and assume symmetry between both legs by

  10. Exoskeleton Enhancements for Marines: Tactical-level Technology for an Operational Consequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Machine Gun Team Leader 119.284 50.700 Assault Load Machine Gunner 125.314 50.700 Assault Load Asst Machine Gunner 150.734 50.700 Assault Load SMAW ...Gunner 125.334 50.700 Assault Load Asst SMAW Gunner 110.43 50.700 Assault Load Javelin Gunner 145.134 50.700 Assault Load Asst Javelin Gunner 167.334

  11. Knickkopf protein protects and organizes chitin in the newly synthesized insect exoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    New cuticle synthesis and molting are complex developmental processes that all insects must undergo to allow for growth. However, little is known about how insects regulate the selective degradation of the old cuticle while leaving the new one intact. In this study we show that in the red flour beet...

  12. Pollen recovered from the exoskeleton of stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) in Gainesville, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stable flies are pestiferous blood feeding flies that attack animals and humans. Besides consuming blood, these flies will also visit flowers to take nectar meals. When feeding on nectar, flies become coated with pollen which can be used to identify flowers used by the flies. Recently, flies cove...

  13. An Unpowered Exoskeleton to Reduce Astronaut Hand Fatigue during Microgravity EVA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Alan John

    Improving manufacturing techniques to minimize costs have always been the ultimate goal for engineers since the dawn of technology. Working toward making the end product as affordable as possible without compromising on its quality is not just a skill set to develop but also, art. This thesis deals with changing the approach to the manufacturing of the patented XQ-139 UAV by using alternative materials to reduce production costs and time. Retaining the overall structure and utility of the UAV while eliminating the high costs to produce is the primary goal. It also includes tests performed on the new UAV airframe to prove this hypothesis and compare it to the results of the original airframe. The objective is to prove that the new airframe can cope with the structural and performance demands of the original XQ-139A, while reducing the total costs to manufacture it. This thesis only deals with the processing and manufacturing of the new XQ-139A airframe. No flight tests are involved.

  14. Hand rehabilitation after stroke using a wearable, high DOF, spring powered exoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tianyao Chen; Lum, Peter S

    2016-08-01

    Stroke patients often have inappropriate finger flexor activation and finger extensor weakness, which makes it difficult to open their affected hand for functional grasp. The goal was to develop a passive, lightweight, wearable device to enable improved hand function during performance of activities of daily living. The device, HandSOME II, assists with opening the patient's hand using 11 elastic actuators that apply extension torques to finger and thumb joints. Device design and initial testing are described. A novel mechanical design applies forces orthogonal to the finger segments despite the fact that all of the device DOFs are not aligned with human joint DOF. In initial testing with seven stroke subjects with impaired hand function, use of HandSOME II significantly increased maximum extension angles and range of motion in all of the index finger joints (P<;0.05). HandSOME II allows performance of all the grip patterns used in daily activities and can be used as part of home-based therapy programs.

  15. An ecologically-controlled exoskeleton can improve balance recovery after slippage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaco, V.; Tropea, P.; Aprigliano, F.; Martelli, D.; Parri, A.; Cortese, M.; Molino-Lova, R.; Vitiello, N.; Micera, S.

    2017-05-01

    The evolution to bipedalism forced humans to develop suitable strategies for dynamically controlling their balance, ensuring stability, and preventing falling. The natural aging process and traumatic events such as lower-limb loss can alter the human ability to control stability significantly increasing the risk of fall and reducing the overall autonomy. Accordingly, there is an urgent need, from both end-users and society, for novel solutions that can counteract the lack of balance, thus preventing falls among older and fragile citizens. In this study, we show a novel ecological approach relying on a wearable robotic device (the Active Pelvis Orthosis, APO) aimed at facilitating balance recovery after unexpected slippages. Specifically, if the APO detects signs of balance loss, then it supplies counteracting torques at the hips to assist balance recovery. Experimental tests conducted on eight elderly persons and two transfemoral amputees revealed that stability against falls improved due to the “assisting when needed” behavior of the APO. Interestingly, our approach required a very limited personalization for each subject, and this makes it promising for real-life applications. Our findings demonstrate the potential of closed-loop controlled wearable robots to assist elderly and disabled subjects and to improve their quality of life.

  16. Perancangan Exoskeleton Motion Capture System Sebagai Panduan Gerakan Tari Pada Robot Humanoid Krsi

    OpenAIRE

    Ir. Nanang SUlistiyanto, MT., Tanshuda Alfauzi., Ir. Nurussa'adah, MT

    2014-01-01

    Kontes Robot Seni Indonesia (KRSI) merupakan suatu ajang kompetisi perancangan dan pembuatan Robot yang disertai dengan unsur-unsur seni dan budaya. Divisi KRSI mengambil tema robot penari untuk menampilkan seni budaya yang diinginkan sesuai dengan tema setiap tahun. Robot KRSI berjenis humanoid, harus mampu menari. Sistem perekam gerakan yang bisa langsung dipasang pada penari profesional atau orang yang mengerti bagaimana gerakan yang artistik dibutuhkan dengan tujuan mendapatkan gerakan Ro...

  17. SCRIPT passive orthosis : design of interactive hand and wrist exoskeleton for rehabilitation at home after stroke

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ates, Sedar; Haarman, Claudia J W; Stienen, Arno H A

    2017-01-01

    Recovery of functional hand movements after stroke is directly linked to rehabilitation duration and intensity. Continued therapy at home has the potential to increase both. For many patients this requires a device that helps them overcome the hyperflexion of wrist and fingers that is limiting their

  18. Surface EMG pattern recognition for real-time control of a wrist exoskeleton

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Khokhar, Zeeshan O; Xiao, Zhen G; Menon, Carlo

    2010-01-01

    Surface electromyography (sEMG) signals have been used in numerous studies for the classification of hand gestures and movements and successfully implemented in the position control of different prosthetic hands for amputees...

  19. Bio-Inspired Control of an Arm Exoskeleton Joint with Active-Compliant Actuation System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Folgheraiter

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the methodology followed on the design of a multi-contact point haptic interface that uses a bio-inspired control approach and a novel actuation system. The combination of these components aims at creating a system that increases the operability of the target, and, at the same time, enables an intuitive and safe tele-operation of any complex robotic system of any given morphology. The novelty lies on the combination of a thoughtful kinematic structure driven by an active-compliant actuation system and a bio-inspired paradigm for its regulation. Due to the proposed actuation approach, the final system will achieve the condition of wearable system. On that final solution, each joint will be able to change its stiffness depending on the task to be executed, and on the anatomical features of each individual. Moreover, the system provides a variety of safety mechanisms at different levels to prevent causing any harm to the operator. In future, the system should allow the complete virtual immersion of the user within the working scenario.

  20. Descriptive Characteristics and Amputation Rates With Use of Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeleton Orthosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Owen; Bulathsinhala, Lakmini; Eskridge, Susan L; Quinn, Kimberly; Stinner, Daniel J

    2016-11-01

    Advancements in ankle-foot orthotic devices, such as the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), are designed to improve function and reduce pain of the injured lower extremity. There is a paucity of research detailing the demographics, injury patterns and amputation outcomes of patients who have been prescribed an IDEO. The purpose of this study was to describe the demographics, presenting diagnosis and patterns of amputation in patients prescribed an IDEO at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI). The study population was comprised of 624 service members who were treated at the CFI and prescribed an IDEO between 2009 and 2014. Data were extracted from the Expeditionary Medical Encounter Database, Defense Manpower Data Center, Military Health System Data Repository, and CFI patient records for demographic and injury information as well as an amputation outcome. The most common injury category that received an IDEO prescription was injuries at or surrounding the ankle joint (25.0%), followed by tibia injuries (17.5%) and nerve injuries below the knee (16.4%). Over 80% of the sample avoided amputation within a one year time period using this treatment modality. Future studies should longitudinally track IDEO users for a longer term to determine the long term viability of the device. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  1. "Limb Salvage With Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeleton Orthosis Versus Transtibial Amputation: A Comparison of Functional Gait Outcomes".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangan, Katharine I; Kingsbury, Trevor D; Mazzone, Brittney N; Wyatt, Marilynn P; Kuhn, Kevin M

    2016-08-23

    To determine if there is a difference in functional gait outcomes between patients with limb injuries treated with either transtibial amputation or limb preservation with Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO). Retrospective prognostic study. Tertiary referral military hospital. This study included 10 transtibial amputees and ten limb preservation patients using the IDEO who were matched by body mass index after excluding for non-traumatic, proximal ipsilateral, contralateral, spine or traumatic brain injuries. Transtibial amputation patients were also excluded if they did not have a gait study between 6 and 12 months after independent ambulation and limb preservation were excluded if they did not complete the "Return to Run" program. An observational study of functional outcomes utilizing instrumented gait analysis. Spatiotemporal, kinetic (vertical ground reaction force), unified deformable (UD) power, work, and efficiency. Limb preservation patients walked with a significantly slower cadence (p=0.036) and spent less time on their affected limb in stance (p=0.045), and longer in swing (p=0.019). Amputees had significantly increased maximum positive power in both limbs (p=0.004 and p= 0.029) and increased maximum negative power on the unaffected limb (p= 0.035). Amputees had significantly increased positive and negative work in the affected limb (p=0.0009 and p=0.014) and positive work in the unaffected limb (p=0.042).There was no significant difference in the kinetic data or efficiency. Limb preservation patients spend less time on their affected limb as a percentage of the gait cycle. The UD power demonstrated more dynamic gait in amputees, with peak values closer to normative data. Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

  2. Design and Feasibility Verification of a Knee Assistive Exoskeleton System for Construction Workers

    OpenAIRE

    Yu, Seungnam; Lee, Seunghoon; Lee, HeeDon; Han, Changsoo

    2008-01-01

    Experiments are set up with two topics: with payloads (10kg) and without KAS and with payloads and with KAS. During each experiment, EMG signals are gathered by four channels, and their sampling frequency and gain value was 1024Hz and 1126.7uV, respectively. These channels are attached on the upper and lower parts of quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscle groups. Every signal has a tendency to be assisted as shown in the figures below. All magnitudes of the EMG signals have an approximately 20% ...

  3. Exoskeletal proteins from the crab, Cancer pagurus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Svend Olav

    1999-01-01

    Crustacea; decapods; cuticle; exoskeleton; structural protein; amino acid sequence; mass spectrometry......Crustacea; decapods; cuticle; exoskeleton; structural protein; amino acid sequence; mass spectrometry...

  4. Usability test of a hand exoskeleton for activities of daily living: an example of user-centered design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almenara, Maria; Cempini, Marco; Gómez, Cristina; Cortese, Mario; Martín, Cristina; Medina, Josep; Vitiello, Nicola; Opisso, Eloy

    2017-01-01

    (1) To assess a robotic device (Handexos) during the design process with regard to usability, end user satisfaction and safety, (2) to determine whether Handexos can improve the activities of daily living (ADLs) of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients and stroke patients with upper-limb dysfunction. During a 2-year development stage of the device, a total of 37 participants (aged 22-68), 28 clinicians (experts) and nine patients with SCI or stroke (end users) were included in a user-centered design process featuring usability tests. They performed five grasps wearing the device. The assessments were obtained at the end of the session by filling out a questionnaire and making suggestions. The experts' opinion was that the modified device was an improvement over the preliminary version, although this was not reflected in the scores. Whereas end user scores for comfort, grasp, performance and safety were above the sufficiency threshold, the scores for year 2 were lower than those for year 1. The findings demonstrate that although Handexos meets the initial functional requirements and underlines the potential for assisting SCI and post-stroke subjects in ADLs, several aspects such as mechanical complexity and low adaptability to different hand sizes need to be further addressed. Implications for Rehabilitation Wearable robotics devices could improve the activities of daily living in patients with spinal cord injury or stroke. They could be a tool for rehabilitation of the upper limb. Further usability tests to improve this type of tools are recommended.

  5. Design, development and deployment of a hand/wrist exoskeleton for home-based rehabilitation after stroke - SCRIPT project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amirabdollahian, F; Ates, Sedar; Basteris, A.; Cesario, A.; Buurke, Jaap; Hermens, Hermanus J.; Hofs, D.; Johansson, E.; Mountain, G.; Nasr, N.; Nijenhuis, S.M.; Prange, Grada Berendina; Rahman, N.; Sale, P.; Schätzlein, F.; van Schooten, B.; Stienen, Arno

    2014-01-01

    Objective: this manuscript introduces the Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Tele-robotics (SCRIPT) project. The main goal is to demonstrate design and development steps involved in a complex intervention, while examining feasibility of using an instrumented orthotic device for

  6. Improving Upper Extremity Function and Quality of Life with a Tongue Driven Exoskeleton: A Pilot Study Quantifying Stroke Rehabilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen N. Housley

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability around the world. Many survivors experience upper extremity (UE impairment with few rehabilitation opportunities, secondary to a lack of voluntary muscle control. We developed a novel rehabilitation paradigm (TDS-HM that uses a Tongue Drive System (TDS to control a UE robotic device (Hand Mentor: HM while engaging with an interactive user interface. In this study, six stroke survivors with moderate to severe UE impairment completed 15 two-hour sessions of TDS-HM training over five weeks. Participants were instructed to move their paretic arm, with synchronized tongue commands to track a target waveform while using visual feedback to make accurate movements. Following TDS-HM training, significant improvements in tracking performance translated into improvements in the UE portion of the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment, range of motion, and all subscores for the Stroke Impact Scale. Regression modeling found daily training time to be a significant predictor of decreases in tracking error, indicating the presence of a potential dose-response relationship. The results of this pilot study indicate that the TDS-HM system can elicit significant improvements in moderate to severely impaired stroke survivors. This pilot study gives preliminary insight into the volume of treatment time required to improve outcomes.

  7. Engineered embodiment: Comment on "The embodiment of assistive devices-from wheelchair to exoskeleton" by M. Pazzaglia and M. Molinari

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannape, Oliver Alan; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2016-03-01

    From brain-computer interfaces to wearable robotics and bionic prostheses - intelligent assistive devices have already become indispensable in the therapy of people living with reduced sensorimotor functioning of their physical body, be it due to spinal cord injury, amputation or brain lesions [1]. Rapid technological advances will continue to fuel this field for years to come. As Pazzaglia and Molinari [2] rightly point out, progress in this domain should not solely be driven by engineering prowess, but utilize the increasing psychological and neuroscientific understanding of cortical body-representations and their plasticity [3]. We argue that a core concept for such an integrated embodiment framework was introduced with the formalization of the forward model for sensorimotor control [4]. The application of engineering concepts to human movement control paved the way for rigorous computational and neuroscientific analysis. The forward model has successfully been adapted to investigate principles underlying aspects of bodily awareness such as the sense of agency in the comparator framework [5]. At the example of recent advances in lower limb prostheses, we propose a cross-disciplinary, integrated embodiment framework to investigate the sense of agency and the related sense of body ownership for such devices. The main onus now is on the engineers and cognitive scientists to embed such an approach into the design of assistive technology and its evaluation battery.

  8. Hybrid Neuroprosthesis for the Upper Limb: Combining Brain-Controlled Neuromuscular Stimulation with a Multi-Joint Arm Exoskeleton

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Grimm, Florian; Walter, Armin; Spüler, Martin; Naros, Georgios; Rosenstiel, Wolfgang; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-01

    ...) and the intensity of training. Furthermore, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is applied in neurologically impaired patients to restore muscle strength by closing the sensorimotor loop...

  9. Ambulatory and Non-Ambulatory Benefits of Lower Limb Exoskeleton Use, with and without FES, in Clinical and Community Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    and the academic world on areas such as: • improving public knowledge, attitudes, skills, and abilities; • changing behavior, practices, decision...Grants Officer whenever there are significant changes in the project or its direction. If not previously reported in writing , provide the following...Report.” Describe partner organizations – academic institutions, other nonprofits, industrial or commercial firms, state or local governments, schools

  10. Ambulatory and Non-Ambulatory Benefits of Lower Limb Exoskeleton Use, with and without FES, in Clinical and Community Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    specific ...protocol at Mayo. • Specific objectives: o Prepare protocol for study 1. o Obtain all approvals necessary to begin conduct of study 1. o Begin conduct of...U pd at ed : 1 2/ 03 /2 01 6 Ti m el in e an d C os t A cc om pl is hm en ts a nd s ta tu s: S tu dy 1 u nd er w ay ; o bt ai ne d IR B

  11. Control of an ambulatory exoskeleton with a brain-machine interface for spinal cord injury gait rehabilitation

    OpenAIRE

    Eduardo López-Larraz; Eduardo López-Larraz; Fernando Trincado-Alonso; Vijaykumar Rajasekaran; Soraya Perez-Nombela; Antonio José Del-Ama; Joan Aranda; Javier Minguez; Javier Minguez; Javier Minguez; Ángel Gil-Agudo; Luis Montesano; Luis Montesano

    2016-01-01

    The closed-loop control of rehabilitative technologies by neural commands has shown a greatpotential to improve motor recovery in patients suffering from paralysis. Brain-machine interfaces(BMI) can be used as a natural control method for such technologies. BMI provide a continuousassociation between the brain activity and peripheral stimulation, with the potential to induceplastic changes in the nervous system. Paraplegic patients, and especially the ones with incompleteinjuries, constitute ...

  12. Development of an MR-compatible hand exoskeleton that is capable of providing interactive robotic rehabilitation during fMRI imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sangjoon J; Kim, Yeongjin; Lee, Hyosang; Ghasemlou, Pouya; Kim, Jung

    2017-07-15

    Following advances in robotic rehabilitation, there have been many efforts to investigate the recovery process and effectiveness of robotic rehabilitation procedures through monitoring the activation status of the brain. This work presents the development of a two degree-of-freedom (DoF) magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible hand device that can perform robotic rehabilitation procedures inside an fMRI scanner. The device is capable of providing real-time monitoring of the joint angle, angular velocity, and joint force produced by the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) and proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of four fingers. For force measurement, a custom reflective optical force sensor was developed and characterized in terms of accuracy error, hysteresis, and repeatability in the MR environment. The proposed device consists of two non-magnetic ultrasonic motors to provide assistive and resistive forces to the MCP and PIP joints. With actuation and sensing capabilities, both non-voluntary-passive movements and active-voluntary movements can be implemented. The MR compatibility of the device was verified via the analysis of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of MR images of phantoms. SNR drops of 0.25, 2.94, and 11.82% were observed when the device was present but not activated, when only the custom force sensor was activated, and when both the custom force sensor and actuators were activated, respectively.

  13. Morfologia do exoesqueleto de adultos de Memphis moruus stheno (Pritwittz (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae Exoskeleton morphology of the adult of Memphis moruus stheno (Pritwittz (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Charaxinae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando M. S. Dias

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available O presente trabalho visa fornecer subsídios para estudos morfológicos comparativos de Charaxinae neotropicais. Memphis moruus stheno (Prittwitz, 1865 é a segunda espécie neotropical de Anaeini e a primeira do gênero Memphis a ter sua morfologia detalhada. A morfologia externa é apresentada com descrições, ilustrações e imagens de microscopia eletrônica de varredura de estruturas da cabeça e apêndices cefálicos, região cervical, tórax e apêndices torácicos, abdome e genitálias masculina e feminina. A morfologia de M. moruus stheno é comparada com uma espécie do gênero proximamente relacionado Zaretis Hübner, [1819].This study is intended to allow further comparative morphological studies on the Neotropical Charaxinae. Memphis moruus stheno (Prittwitz, 1865 is the second species of Anaeini and the first in the genus Memphis to have its morphology published in detail. The external morphology is presented with descriptions, line drawings and scan electron microscopy of the head and its appendages, cervix, thorax and its appendages, abdomen and both male and female genital armatures. Memphis moruus stheno is compared with a species of its closely related genus Zaretis Hübner, [1819].

  14. Exoskeleton Morphology of Three Species of Preponini, with Discussion of Morphological Similarities among Neotropical Charaxinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)-II. Thorax and Thoracic Appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonfantti, Dayana; Casagrande, Mirna Martins; Mielke, Olaf Hermann Hendrik

    2015-06-01

    The present report, the second part of a study of the external morphology of Preponini, compares the thorax and thoracic appendages of Archaeoprepona demophon demophon (Linnaeus, 1758), Archaeoprepona licomedes licomedes (Cramer, 1777) and Prepona pylene pylene Hewitson, [1854], through descriptions and illustrations. The results are compared with three other species, Prepona claudina annetta (Gray, 1832), Memphis moruus stheno Hübner, [1819] and Zaretis itys itylus (Westwood, 1850), revealing previously unrecognized similarities among species of Charaxinae.

  15. How does wearable robotic exoskeleton affect overground walking performance measured with the 10-m and six-minute walk tests after a basic locomotor training in healthy individuals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, Dany H; Cunha, Jérémie Da; Boyer-Delestre, Mael; Bosquet, Laurent; Duclos, Cyril

    2017-10-01

    It is still unknown to what extent overground walking with a WRE is equivalent to natural overground walking without a WRE. Hence, the interpretability of the 10-m (10MWT) and six-minute (6MWT) walk tests during overground walking with a WRE against reference values collected during natural overground walking without a WRE is challenging. This study aimed to 1) compare walking performance across three different overground walking conditions: natural walking without a WRE, walking with a WRE providing minimal assistance (active walking), and walking with a WRE proving complete assistance (passive walking) and 2) assess the association and the agreement between the 10MWT and the 6MWT during passive and active walking with a WRE. Seventeen healthy individuals who underwent basic locomotor training with a WRE performed the 10MWT (preferred and maximal speeds) and the 6MWT under the three conditions. For the 10MWT, the speed progressively and significantly decreased from natural walking without a WRE (preferred: 1.40±0.18m/s; maximal: 2.16±0.19m/s), to active walking with a WRE (preferred: 0.48±0.10m/s; maximal: 0.61±0.14m/s), and to passive walking with a WRE (preferred: 0.38±0.09m/s; maximal: 0.42±0.10m/s). For the 6MWT, total distances decreased from walking without a WRE (609±53.9m), to active walking with a WRE (196.6±42.6m), and to passive walking with a WRE (144.3±33.3m). The 10MWT and 6MWT provide distinct information and can't be used interchangeably to document speed only during active walking with the WRE. Speed and distance drastically decrease during active and, even more so, passive walking with the WRE in comparison to walking without a WRE. Selection of walking tests should depend on the level of assistance provided by the WRE. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Vibrotactile feedback to control the amount of weight shift during walking - A first step towards better control of an exoskeleton for spinal cord injury subjects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muijzer-Witteveen, Heintje Johanna Berendina; Nataletti, Sara; Agnello, Martina; Casadio, Maura; Van Asseldonk, Edwin H.F.

    2017-01-01

    People with Spinal Cord Injury do not only lack the ability to control their muscles, but also miss the sensory information from below the level of their lesion. Therefore, it may become difficult for them to perceive the state of the body during walking, which is however often used to control

  17. Effects of a wearable exoskeleton stride management assist system (SMA®) on spatiotemporal gait characteristics in individuals after stroke: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buesing, Carolyn; Fisch, Gabriela; O'Donnell, Megan; Shahidi, Ida; Thomas, Lauren; Mummidisetty, Chaithanya K; Williams, Kenton J; Takahashi, Hideaki; Rymer, William Zev; Jayaraman, Arun

    2015-08-20

    Robots offer an alternative, potentially advantageous method of providing repetitive, high-dosage, and high-intensity training to address the gait impairments caused by stroke. In this study, we compared the effects of the Stride Management Assist (SMA®) System, a new wearable robotic device developed by Honda R&D Corporation, Japan, with functional task specific training (FTST) on spatiotemporal gait parameters in stroke survivors. A single blinded randomized control trial was performed to assess the effect of FTST and task-specific walking training with the SMA® device on spatiotemporal gait parameters. Participants (n=50) were randomly assigned to FTST or SMA. Subjects in both groups received training 3 times per week for 6-8 weeks for a maximum of 18 training sessions. The GAITRite® system was used to collect data on subjects' spatiotemporal gait characteristics before training (baseline), at mid-training, post-training, and at a 3-month follow-up. After training, significant improvements in gait parameters were observed in both training groups compared to baseline, including an increase in velocity and cadence, a decrease in swing time on the impaired side, a decrease in double support time, an increase in stride length on impaired and non-impaired sides, and an increase in step length on impaired and non-impaired sides. No significant differences were observed between training groups; except for SMA group, step length on the impaired side increased significantly during self-selected walking speed trials and spatial asymmetry decreased significantly during fast-velocity walking trials. SMA and FTST interventions provided similar, significant improvements in spatiotemporal gait parameters; however, the SMA group showed additional improvements across more parameters at various time points. These results indicate that the SMA® device could be a useful therapeutic tool to improve spatiotemporal parameters and contribute to improved functional mobility in stroke survivors. Further research is needed to determine the feasibility of using this device in a home setting vs a clinic setting, and whether such home use provides continued benefits. This study is registered under the title "Development of walk assist device to improve community ambulation" and can be located in clinicaltrials.gov with the study identifier: NCT01994395 .

  18. Why did the UV-A-induced photoluminescent blue-green glow in trilobite eyes and exoskeletons not cause problems for trilobites?

    OpenAIRE

    Schoenemann, Brigitte; Clarkson, Euan N. K.; Horváth, Gábor

    2015-01-01

    The calcitic lenses in the eyes of Palaeozoic trilobites are unique in the animal kingdom, although the use of calcite would have conveyed great advantages for vision in aquatic systems. Calcite lenses are transparent, and due to their high refractive index they would facilitate the focusing of light. In some respects, however, calcite lenses bear evident disadvantages. Birefringence would cause double images at different depths, but this is not a problem for trilobites since the difference i...

  19. Why did the UV-A-induced photoluminescent blue-green glow in trilobite eyes and exoskeletons not cause problems for trilobites?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenemann, Brigitte; Clarkson, Euan N K; Horváth, Gábor

    2015-01-01

    The calcitic lenses in the eyes of Palaeozoic trilobites are unique in the animal kingdom, although the use of calcite would have conveyed great advantages for vision in aquatic systems. Calcite lenses are transparent, and due to their high refractive index they would facilitate the focusing of light. In some respects, however, calcite lenses bear evident disadvantages. Birefringence would cause double images at different depths, but this is not a problem for trilobites since the difference in the paths of the ordinary and extraordinary rays is less than the diameter of the receptor cells. Another point, not discussed hitherto, is that calcite fluoresces when illuminated with UV-A. Here we show experimentally that calcite lenses fluoresce, and we discuss why fluorescence does not diminish the optical quality of these lenses and the image formed by them. In the environments in which the trilobites lived, UV-A would not have been a relevant factor, and thus fluorescence would not have disturbed or confused their visual system. We also argue that whatever the reason that calcite was never again used successfully in the visual systems of aquatic arthropods, it was not fluorescence.

  20. Why did the UV-A-induced photoluminescent blue–green glow in trilobite eyes and exoskeletons not cause problems for trilobites?

    OpenAIRE

    Brigitte Schoenemann; Clarkson, Euan N. K.; Gábor Horváth

    2015-01-01

    The calcitic lenses in the eyes of Palaeozoic trilobites are unique in the animal kingdom, although the use of calcite would have conveyed great advantages for vision in aquatic systems. Calcite lenses are transparent, and due to their high refractive index they would facilitate the focusing of light. In some respects, however, calcite lenses bear evident disadvantages. Birefringence would cause double images at different depths, but this is not a problem for trilobites since the difference i...