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Journal of Robotics
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3613715, 8 pages
Research Article

Bioinspired Knee Joint for a Power-Assist Suit

Oita University, Dannoharu 700, Oita 870-1192, Japan

Received 15 April 2016; Revised 4 June 2016; Accepted 15 June 2016

Academic Editor: Liwei Shi

Copyright © 2016 Takehito Kikuchi 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.


Movement of the knee joint of a human includes rolling and sliding. There also exist rotations in the frontal and horizontal planes. To assist the standing movement of a human, we developed a bioinspired knee joint and torque adjustment mechanism. We evaluated the motion, torque characteristics, and stress of the developed mechanism. This joint allows deep flexion of the knee with small resistance for both the user and the device. In addition, in spite of 33% error in deep flexion, the measured torque over less than 120 degrees fits the designed torque curve. We conducted evaluation tests for a human subject. The electromyogram (EMG) of musculus rectus femoris was measured during standing with or without the assistance. The result shows 30% and 63% reduction with the assistance from 100-degree and 80-degree knee angles, respectively. In addition, the proposed device reduced up to 80% of stress in the frontal plane during standing.