Walking assistance apparatus able to select the control method according to the purpose of the user

Eiichirou Tanaka, Takahiro Suzuki, Shozo Saegusa, Louis Yuge

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

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A walking assistance apparatus which can promote gait training for motor palsy patients and outdoor walking for the elderly was developed. Our prototype uses a novel spatial parallel link mechanism and restraint free type of equipment. The apparatus supports complete leg alignment, including the soles of the feet from under the soles with flat steps, and assists walking behavior at the ankle, knee, and hip joints simultaneously without the use of Velcro tape. We proposed the control method according to the purpose of the user. For example, to promote gait training, this apparatus can select the impedance control method. User's legs are assisted along the trajectory with the ideal gait as well as walking. To promote outdoor walking for the elderly, this apparatus can select the torque control method. The apparatus calculates the necessary torques of each joint according to the posture and motion of the apparatus and user. In the case of the impedance control method, by adjusting the natural frequency of the ideal dynamic equation for the flat steps under the soles, the user felt it was easier to walk by frequency entrainment. On the other hand, to promote outdoor walking of the user, this apparatus has to be used not only on the flat ground but also on stairs or slopes with freedom behaviors, and it has to make the user feel comfortable. To address this problem, the torque control method proposed to use real-time acceleration data instead of using the template trajectory. By using this method, the subject could walk on the slope and stairs continuously. Finally, %MVC of the user's EMG while walking equipped with this apparatus was measured, and the influence of the difference using between the impedance and torque control method was confirmed by interviewing the subjects. From the result, the impedance control method assisted the motion of kicking the ground, and the torque control method assisted the motion of raising-up the leg. Therefore, the impedance control method is good for gait training, and the torque control method is good for walk promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorld Automation Congress Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages537-542
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781889335490
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 24
Event2014 World Automation Congress, WAC 2014 - Waikoloa, United States
Duration: 2014 Aug 32014 Aug 7

Publication series

NameWorld Automation Congress Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2154-4824
ISSN (Electronic)2154-4832

Conference

Conference2014 World Automation Congress, WAC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityWaikoloa
Period14/8/314/8/7

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Keywords

  • Impedance Control Method
  • Torque Control Method
  • Walking Assistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering

Cite this

Tanaka, E., Suzuki, T., Saegusa, S., & Yuge, L. (2014). Walking assistance apparatus able to select the control method according to the purpose of the user. In World Automation Congress Proceedings (pp. 537-542). [6936036] (World Automation Congress Proceedings). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/WAC.2014.6936036