Design, control and evaluation of the electro-hydrostatic actuator, PREHydrA, for gait restoration exoskeleton technology

K. Staman*, A.J. Veale, H. van der Kooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

A preliminary design for the PREHydrA (passive return, electro-hydrostatic actuator) concept; a high force density, remote actuator, is tested to requirements for wearable robotics technology intended for gait restoration; one of the most demanding tasks for wearable robotics. While the concept offers good wearability properties, it has never been used in wearable robotics for full support. This work shows that the combination of electro-hydrostatic actuators with a return force and series elastic element offers a good alternative to other actuation types. Custom and small commercial components are used in a design for the knee joint. An experimental setup with a pendulum representing a swinging lower leg was used to show force and angle tracking performance. The results of a maximum zero force (-400–1100 N actuator force range) tracking mean absolute error of 61 N (6.79 Nm joint torque error) at 5.5 Hz excitation and a full swing (70 ) within 0.35 s (0.8 m/s actuator velocity), match or exceed current state of the art exoskeleton actuation and control and show that the PREHydrA concept is very well suited for application in exoskeleton technology, especially when the cylinder design is optimized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Actuators
  • Force
  • Knee
  • Springs
  • Robots
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Exoskeletons
  • actuation
  • force control
  • motion control
  • electro-hydraulics

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