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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Design of a Robotic Gait Trainer using Spring Over Muscle Actuators for Ankle Stroke Rehabilitation

[+] Author and Article Information
Kartik Bharadwaj

Human/Machine Integration Laboratory,  Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287

Thomas G. Sugar

Human/Machine Integration Laboratory,  Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287thomas.sugar@asu.edu

James B. Koeneman

 Kinetic Muscles Inc., Tempe, AZ 85281jkoeneman@kineticmuscles.com

Edward J. Koeneman

 Kinetic Muscles Inc., Tempe, AZ 85281

J Biomech Eng 127(6), 1009-1013 (Jul 13, 2005) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2049333 History: Received March 31, 2005; Revised July 13, 2005

Repetitive task training is an effective form of rehabilitation for people suffering from debilitating injuries of stroke. We present the design and working concept of a robotic gait trainer (RGT), an ankle rehabilitation device for assisting stroke patients during gait. Structurally based on a tripod mechanism, the device is a parallel robot that incorporates two pneumatically powered, double-acting, compliant, spring over muscle actuators as actuation links which move the ankle in dorsiflex ion/plantarflexion and inversion/eversion. A unique feature in the tripod design is that the human anatomy is part of the robot, the first fixed link being the patient’s leg. The kinematics and workspace of the tripod device have been analyzed determining its range of motion. Experimental gait data from an able-bodied person wearing the working RGT prototype are presented.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Robotic gait trainer model

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Figure 2

Robotic gait trainer worn by a subject

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Figure 3

Kinematic model used in workspace analysis

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Figure 4

Anatomical orientation of Empirical and Subtalar axes for the right foot

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Figure 5

Spring Over Muscle actuator

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Figure 6

Robotic gait trainer worn by an able-bodied subject as an assistance device for walking

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Figure 7

Kinematic plots for deflection of the SOM actuators, links 2 and 3 during gait

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Figure 8

Actual angular position of the ankle in dorsiflexion/plantarflexion of a subject wearing the RGT

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Figure 9

Ideal ankle angle curves in gait for dorsiflexion/plantarflexion (See Ref. 24)

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