Assisting Human Balance in Standing With a Robotic Exoskeleton

Ildar Farkhatdinov* (Corresponding Author), Julia Ebert, Gijs Van Oort, Mark Vlutters, Edwin Van Asseldonk, Etienne Burdet

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This letter presents an experimental study on balance recovery control with a lower limb exoskeleton robot. Four participants were subjected to a perturbation during standing, a forward force impulse applied to their pelvis that forced them to step forward with the right leg for balance recovery. Trials with and without exoskeleton assistance to move the stepping legs thigh were conducted to investigate the influence of the exoskeletons control assistance on balancing performance and a potential adaptation. Analysis of the body kinematics and muscle activation demonstrates that robotic assistance: first, was easy to use and did not require learning, nor inhibited the healthy stepping behavior; second, it modified the stepping leg trajectories by increasing hip and knee movement; third, increased reaction speed and decreased the step duration; and finally, generally increased biceps femoris and rectus femoris muscle activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8600354
    Pages (from-to)414-421
    Number of pages8
    JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    Early online date3 Jan 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Keywords

    • human performance augmentation
    • physically assistive devices
    • Prosthetics and exoskeletons

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