Study and Choice of Actuation for a Walking Assist Device
A walking assist device (WAD) with bodyweight support reduces energy expenditure of a walking person. However, it is also important that the location of actuators in the WAD will be optimally chosen. For this purpose a wearable assist device composed of a bodyweight support, legs and shoes articulated with hip (upper joint), knee (middle joint), and ankle (lower joint) is discussed. Since human walk involves large displacements only in sagittal plane, a planar model is considered. In order to evaluate the optimal distribution of input torques, a bipedal model of a seven-link system with several walking velocities is coupled with the mentioned WAD. To study the efficiency of the WAD and to choose an appropriate actuation, the torque cost is evaluated when the same walking pattern are tracked with and without a WAD. The paper deals with the torque cost for the human and the WAD with several types of actuation. It is shown that full actuation with six motors or partial actuation with two motors located at the upper joints are two more efficient solutions while an actuation at the middle joints or lower joints only is ineffective. The numerical simulations carried out for several walking velocities confirm the mentioned observations.
KeywordsAssist device Walking gait Optimization Torque costs Biped fully assisted Biped partially assisted
This work is supported by Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation and by Région des Pays de la Loire, Project LMA and Gérontopôle Autonomie Longévité des Pays de la Loire.
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