Bio-Inspired Balance Control Assistance Can Reduce Metabolic Energy Consumption in Human Walking

Guoping Zhao*, Maziar Ahmad Sharbafi, Mark Vlutters, Edwin van Asseldonk, Andre Seyfarth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    The amount of research on developing exoskeletons for human gait assistance has been growing in the recent years. However, the control design of exoskeletons for assisting human walking remains unclear. This paper presents a novel bio-inspired reflex-based control for assisting human walking. In this approach, the leg force is used as a feedback signal to adjust hip compliance. The effects of modulating hip compliance on walking gait is investigated through joint kinematics, leg muscle activations and overall metabolic costs for eight healthy young subjects. Reduction in the average metabolic cost and muscle activation are achieved with fixed hip compliance. Compared to the fixed hip compliance, improved assistance as reflected in more consistent reduction in muscle activities and more natural kinematic behaviour are obtained using the leg force feedback. Furthermore, smoother motor torques and less peak power are two additional advantages obtained by compliance modulation. The results show that the proposed control method which is inspired by human posture control can not only facilitate the human gait, but also reduce the exoskeleton power consumption. This demonstrates that the proposed bio-inspired controller allows a synergistic interaction between human and robot.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1760-1769
    Number of pages10
    JournalIEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering
    Volume27
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 12 Aug 2019

    Fingerprint

    Compliance
    Walking
    Energy utilization
    Hip
    Gait
    Muscle
    Leg
    Biomechanical Phenomena
    Muscles
    Kinematics
    Chemical activation
    Feedback
    Torque motors
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Torque
    Posture
    Reflex
    Costs
    Healthy Volunteers
    Electric power utilization

    Cite this

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    title = "Bio-Inspired Balance Control Assistance Can Reduce Metabolic Energy Consumption in Human Walking",
    abstract = "The amount of research on developing exoskeletons for human gait assistance has been growing in the recent years. However, the control design of exoskeletons for assisting human walking remains unclear. This paper presents a novel bio-inspired reflex-based control for assisting human walking. In this approach, the leg force is used as a feedback signal to adjust hip compliance. The effects of modulating hip compliance on walking gait is investigated through joint kinematics, leg muscle activations and overall metabolic costs for eight healthy young subjects. Reduction in the average metabolic cost and muscle activation are achieved with fixed hip compliance. Compared to the fixed hip compliance, improved assistance as reflected in more consistent reduction in muscle activities and more natural kinematic behaviour are obtained using the leg force feedback. Furthermore, smoother motor torques and less peak power are two additional advantages obtained by compliance modulation. The results show that the proposed control method which is inspired by human posture control can not only facilitate the human gait, but also reduce the exoskeleton power consumption. This demonstrates that the proposed bio-inspired controller allows a synergistic interaction between human and robot.",
    author = "Guoping Zhao and {Ahmad Sharbafi}, Maziar and Mark Vlutters and {van Asseldonk}, Edwin and Andre Seyfarth",
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    language = "English",
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    Bio-Inspired Balance Control Assistance Can Reduce Metabolic Energy Consumption in Human Walking. / Zhao, Guoping; Ahmad Sharbafi, Maziar; Vlutters, Mark; van Asseldonk, Edwin; Seyfarth, Andre.

    In: IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering, Vol. 27, No. 9, 12.08.2019, p. 1760-1769.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    T1 - Bio-Inspired Balance Control Assistance Can Reduce Metabolic Energy Consumption in Human Walking

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    AU - Ahmad Sharbafi, Maziar

    AU - Vlutters, Mark

    AU - van Asseldonk, Edwin

    AU - Seyfarth, Andre

    PY - 2019/8/12

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    AB - The amount of research on developing exoskeletons for human gait assistance has been growing in the recent years. However, the control design of exoskeletons for assisting human walking remains unclear. This paper presents a novel bio-inspired reflex-based control for assisting human walking. In this approach, the leg force is used as a feedback signal to adjust hip compliance. The effects of modulating hip compliance on walking gait is investigated through joint kinematics, leg muscle activations and overall metabolic costs for eight healthy young subjects. Reduction in the average metabolic cost and muscle activation are achieved with fixed hip compliance. Compared to the fixed hip compliance, improved assistance as reflected in more consistent reduction in muscle activities and more natural kinematic behaviour are obtained using the leg force feedback. Furthermore, smoother motor torques and less peak power are two additional advantages obtained by compliance modulation. The results show that the proposed control method which is inspired by human posture control can not only facilitate the human gait, but also reduce the exoskeleton power consumption. This demonstrates that the proposed bio-inspired controller allows a synergistic interaction between human and robot.

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