A Framework for Determining the Performance and Requirements of Cable-Driven Mobile Lower Limb Rehabilitation Exoskeletons

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Abstract

The global increase in the number of stroke patients and limited accessibility to rehabilitation has promoted an increase in the design and development of mobile exoskeletons. Robot-assisted mobile rehabilitation is rapidly emerging as a viable tool as it could provide intensive repetitive movement training and timely standardized delivery of therapy as compared to conventional manual therapy. However, the majority of existing lower limb exoskeletons continue to be heavy and induce unnecessary inertia and inertial vibration on the limb. Cable-driven exoskeletons can overcome these issues with the provision of remote actuation. However, the number of cables and routing can be selected in various ways posing a challenge to designers regarding the optimal design configuration. In this work, a simulation-based generalized framework for modelling and assessment of cable-driven mobile exoskeleton is proposed. The framework can be implemented to identify a ‘suitable’ configuration from several potential ones or to identify the optimal routing parameters for a given configuration. For a proof of concept, four conceptual configurations of cable-driven exoskeletons (one with a spring) were developed in a manner where both positive and negative moments could be generated for each joint (antagonistic configuration). The models were analyzed using the proposed framework and a decision metric table has been developed based on the models’ performance and requirements. The weight of the metrics can be adjusted depending on the preferences and specified constraints. The maximum score is assigned to the configuration with minimum requirement or error, maximum performance, and vice versa. The metric table indicated that the 4-cable configuration is a promising design option for a lower limb rehabilitation exoskeleton based on tracking performance, model requirements, and component forces exerted on the limb.

Original languageBritish English
Article number920462
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • cable-driven exoskeleton
  • generalized framework
  • link-based model
  • lower limb rehabilitation
  • performance analysis
  • tracking

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