A 1-DOF Assistive exoskeleton with virtual negative damping: Effects on the kinematic response of the lower limbs

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2007, 1 pp. 1938 - 1944
Issue Date:
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We propose a novel control method for lowerlimb assist that produces a virtual modification of the mechanical impedance of the human limbs. This effect is accomplished through the use of an exoskeleton that displays active impedance. The proposed method is aimed at improving the dynamic response of the human limbs, while preserving the user's control authority. Our goal is to use active-impedance exoskeleton control to improve the user's agility of motion, for example by reducing the average time needed to complete a movement. Our control method has been implemented in a 1-DOF exoskeleton designed to assist human subjects performing knee flexions and extensions. In this paper we discuss an initial study on the effect of negative exoskeleton damping (a particular case of active-impedance control) on the subject's time to complete a target-reaching motion. Experimental results show this effect to be statistically significant. On average, subjects were able to reduce the time to complete the motion by 16%.
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