Development of a walking-assistance apparatus for neuro-rehabilitation

Eiichirou Tanaka, Tadaaki Ikehara, Tomohiro Sakurai, Takahiro Suzuki, Shota Roppongi, Shozo Saegusa, Louis Yuge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We have developed a prototype for a walking-assistance apparatus that serves as a next-generation vehicle or a movable neuro-rehabilitation training appliance for the elderly or motor palsy patients. Our prototype uses a novel spatial parallel link mechanism with a weight-bearing lift. Flat steps of the apparatus move in parallel with the ground; the apparatus supports the entire leg alignment (including soles of the feet) and assists walking behavior at the ankle, knee, and hip joints simultaneously. To estimate the walking phase of each leg of the equipped person, pressure sensors were attached under the thenar eminence and the heel of the sole and the pressure variation at each sensing point was measured. To determine the direction in which the equipped person is walking, a pressure sensor was attached to the flexible crural link. Motor palsy patients and those with muscle weakness can walk with the assistance of the apparatus. Patients who have ambulation difficulty can also use the apparatus with a weight-bearing lift that we developed. Using the apparatus with the weight-bearing lift prevents stumbling and enables input of walking movement to the brain motor area. The validity of the weight-bearing lift can be confirmed from the results of the measured % maximum voluntary contraction (MVC).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanisms, Mechanical Transmissions and Robotics
Pages258-265
Number of pages8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 18
Externally publishedYes
EventJoint International Conference of the XI International Conference on Mechanisms and Mechanical Transmissions, MTM and the International Conference on Robotics, Robotics'12 - Clermont-Ferrand, France
Duration: 2012 Jun 62012 Jun 8

Publication series

NameApplied Mechanics and Materials
Volume162
ISSN (Print)1660-9336
ISSN (Electronic)1662-7482

Other

OtherJoint International Conference of the XI International Conference on Mechanisms and Mechanical Transmissions, MTM and the International Conference on Robotics, Robotics'12
CountryFrance
CityClermont-Ferrand
Period12/6/612/6/8

Keywords

  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Walking assistance
  • Weight bearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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  • Cite this

    Tanaka, E., Ikehara, T., Sakurai, T., Suzuki, T., Roppongi, S., Saegusa, S., & Yuge, L. (2012). Development of a walking-assistance apparatus for neuro-rehabilitation. In Mechanisms, Mechanical Transmissions and Robotics (pp. 258-265). (Applied Mechanics and Materials; Vol. 162). https://doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/AMM.162.258