Design Innovation Papers

Design of a Rehabilitation Device Based on a Mechanical Link System

[+] Author and Article Information
Kyoungchul Kong1

Member of ASME Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Sogang University, Seoul, Korea 121–742kckong@sogang.ac.kr

Masayoshi Tomizuka

Fellow of ASME Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of California, Berkeley, USA 94720tomizuka@berkeley.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 4(3), 035001 (Jun 08, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006875 History: Received May 13, 2010; Revised May 02, 2012; Published June 07, 2012; Online June 08, 2012

Realizing an ideal impedance control system in lower extremity rehabilitation systems is challenged by mechanical impedance of robot hardware. Although many researchers in Robotics and Control Systems have studied to reduce the mechanical impedance of actuators, they have not been able to eliminate the inertia of robot hardware. This paper introduces an alternative design using mechanical links. The mechanical links are driven by one actuator without any complicated servo systems. The design parameters were optimized by simulation studies for the link system to generate the normal walking motion. The device is connected to a human using elastic components, and therefore, the inertia of the link system is not directly imposed on the user. The human legs are guided to follow the motion of the link system by an assistive force generated by the elastic components.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Human joint motions during normal gait [14]

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Figure 2

Schematic plot of the proposed mechanical link system

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Figure 3

Schematic plot of the mechanism with optimization variables

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Figure 4

Joint angles plotted versus time for one gait cycle

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Figure 5

Captured images of the animated link movement for one cycle

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Figure 6

Configuration of elastic components

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Figure 7

Generated elastic forces with various initial deformations

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Figure 8

A possible configuration for connecting the link system to an orthosis

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Figure 9

A support frame for the link mechanism

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Figure 10

An electric motor and pulleys

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Figure 11

Gait motion generated by the link mechanism



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