University of Twente Student Theses


Design of a high-level position controller for an Assistive Hinged Ankle Exoskeleton

Novillo Calvo, MSc Bme Ignacio (2023) Design of a high-level position controller for an Assistive Hinged Ankle Exoskeleton.

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Embargo date:21 September 2033
Abstract:Many patients suffering from stroke develop motor impairments that lead to sedentary lifestyles and decreased involvement in the community. Recently, wearable robotic technologies have emerged as potential solutions to help restore gait in survivors of stroke. Although promising, the efficacy of these technologies for patients of chronic stroke, who could benefit from daily-use of lightweight devices, have yet to be proven. This thesis introduces the development and validation of a high-level position controller for a new prototype of an ankle exoskeleton. Designed to assist the wearer in both plantar-flexion and dorsiflexion motions during walking, this device aims to offer improvements over conventional orthoses. The proposed controller uses gait event estimations to generate motor trajectories while walking. These trajectories are used by the actuation system to generate adjustable torque profiles that support the impaired ankle. After implementing this new controller, we conducted tests with three healthy individuals to show the viability of this control approach in combination with the introduced hardware. The results from these tests show that the controller effectively delivers assistive torque profiles, which follow the target parameters with some limitations. Additionally, preliminary tests with one survivor of chronic stroke were performed to study the potential of the system in enhancing impaired gait. These results suggest that this combination of controller and hardware is capable of improving both forward propulsion and toe clearance in clinical populations. However, the exact reason behind the improvements in propulsion is not clear yet, and further research is suggested. Overall, these results indicate that the system holds potential for future studies on the use of the exoskeleton in community settings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Harvard University, Boston, USA
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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