Design and Control of a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Robot-Assisted Gait Training
Robot-assisted rehabilitation of gait still faces many challenges, one of which is improving physical human-robot interaction. The use of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles to power a step rehabilitation robot has the potential to meet this challenge. This paper reports on the development of a gait rehabilitation exoskeleton with a knee joint powered by pleated pneumatic artificial muscles. It is intended as a platform for the evaluation of design and control concepts in view of improved physical human-robot interaction. The design was focused on the optimal dimensioning of the actuator configuration. Safety being the most important prerequisite, a proxy-based sliding mode controller (PSMC) was implemented as it combines accurate tracking during normal operation with a smooth, slow and safe recovery from large position errors. Treadmill walking experiments of a healthy subject wearing the powered exoskeleton show the potential of PSMC as a safe robot-in-charge control strategy for robot-assisted gait training.
Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.