Novel Design of a Rotation Center Auto-Matched Ankle Rehabilitation Exoskeleton with Decoupled Control Capacity

Tun Wang, Enea Olivoni, Emmanouil Spyrakos-Papastavridis, Rory J. O'Connor, Jian S. Dai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents a novel ankle rehabilitation exoskeleton for poststroke patients, the rotational center of which can automatically conform to each individual user's ankle complex, once they wear the exoskeleton; this property always holds regardless of the point at which the exoskeleton is attached to the human shank. This exoskeleton has 2 rotation degree-of-freedoms (DOFs) and is able to provide 2 different rotation patterns via reconfiguration. In the combined-rotation pattern arrangement, the mechanism can generate all three kinds of rotations that the ankle complex is naturally capable of realizing. Among these rotational motions, the adduction/abduction rotation is a coupled motion. This rotation can be further reduced, or eliminated, by minimizing the distance between the lower connection points of the actuated links and the human ankle complex, and vice versa. For the other rotation pattern, a 90-degree arrangement of the side link offers decoupled motion control of the mechanism. Numerical studies reveal that the required rehabilitation workspace for dynamical gait exercises can be achieved with high dexterity, without generating singularities. Further investigations indicate that this mechanism has great potential for rehabilitating poststroke patients of a wide range of heights and weights.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053301
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Volume144
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • ankle rehabilitation exoskeleton
  • computer-aided design
  • conceptual design
  • decoupled motion control
  • dynamical gait exercises
  • parallel robots
  • robot design
  • robot kinematics
  • simulation-based design

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