Design, implementation and control of rehabilitation robots for upper and lower limbs
Ergin, Alper Mehmet (2011) Design, implementation and control of rehabilitation robots for upper and lower limbs. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1378224 (Table of Contents)
We present two novel rehabilitation robots for stroke patients. For lower limb stroke rehabilitation, we present a novel self-aligning exoskeleton for the knee joint. The primal novelty of the design originates from its kinematic structure that allows translational movements of the knee joint on the sagittal plane along with the knee rotation. Automatically adjusting its joint axes, the exoskeleton enables a perfect match between human joint axes and the device axes. Thanks to this feature, the knee exoskeleton is not only capable of guaranteeing ergonomy and comfort throughout the therapy, but also extends the usable range of motion for the knee joint. Moreover, this adjustability feature significantly shortens the setup time required to attach the patient to the robot, allowing more effective time be spend on exercises instead of wasting it for adjustments. We have implemented an impedance-type concept of the knee exoskeleton, experimentally characterized its closed-loop performance and demonstrated ergonomy and useability of this device through human subject experiments. To administer table top exercises during upper limb stroke rehabilitation, we present a novel Mecanum-wheeled holonomic mobile rehabilitation robot for home therapy. The device can move/rotate independently on its unlimited planar workspace to provide assistance to patients. We have implemented two different concepts of holonomic mobile platform based on different actuation and sensing principles: an admittance-type mobile robot and a mobile platform with series elastic actuation. The admittance-type robot is integrated with virtual reality simulations and can assist patients through virtual tunnels designed around nominal task trajectories. The holonomic platform with series elastic actuation eliminates the need for costly force sensors and enables implementation of closed loop force control with higher controller gains, providing robustness against imperfections in the power transmission and allowing lower cost drive components to be utilized. For contour following tasks with the holonomic platforms, we have synthesized passive velocity field controllers (PVFC) that ensure coordination and synchronization between various degrees of freedom of the patient arm, while letting patients to complete the task at their own preferred pace. PVFC not only minimizes the contour error but also ensures coupled stability of the human-in-the-loop system.
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