Feedback Control of an Exoskeleton for Paraplegics: Toward Robustly Stable Hands-free Dynamic Walking

02/22/2018
by   Omar Harib, et al.
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This paper presents a design methodology for feedback control policy that enables lower-limb exoskeletons with paraplegic patients to walk without the use of crutches. The objective is to translate formal control design methodologies from bipedal robots to exoskeleton systems to achieve dynamic hands-free walking. Built upon the unique combination of fast offline trajectory optimization and machine learning algorithms, we develop a smooth policy that provides a systematic means for coordinating limb motion and providing corrective actions to follow commands and attenuate disturbances. This approach is validated both numerically and in pre-clinical experimental testing, the latter enabling people with paraplegia to walk hands-free, with all control actions required for stable dynamic walking provided by an onboard controller.

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