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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2016, Article ID 9707801, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9707801
Research Article

Functional Design in Rehabilitation: Modular Mechanisms for Ankle Complex

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy

Received 29 April 2016; Revised 22 June 2016; Accepted 29 June 2016

Academic Editor: Tadeusz Mikołajczyk

Copyright © 2016 Francesco Aggogeri et al. 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.

Abstract

This paper is aimed at presenting an innovative ankle rehabilitation device based on a parallel mechanism. A functional analysis and design are described to obtain a device able to guarantee ankle movement while patient’s body remains stationary. Human ankle is a challenging context where a series of joints are highly integrated. The proposed rehabilitation device permits a patient with walking defects to improve his or her gait. The research focuses on plantar-flexion-dorsiflexion movement. The robust design starts from an accurate modelling of ankle movements during walking, assessing motion data from healthy individuals and patients. The kinematics analysis and functional evaluations lead the study and development of the articulated system. In particular, results of simulations support the effectiveness of the current design. A 3D prototype is presented highlighting that the ankle motion is successfully demonstrated.