Gravity-Assist: a series elastic body weight support system with inertia compensation
Munawar, Hammad and Patoğlu, Volkan (2016) Gravity-Assist: a series elastic body weight support system with inertia compensation. In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016), Daejeon, Korea
We present GRAVITY-ASSIST, a series elastic active body weight support and inertia compensation system for use in robot assisted gait rehabilitation. The device consists of a single degree of freedom series elastic actuator that connects to the trunk of a patient. The series elastic system is novel in that, it can provide the desired level of dynamic unloading such that the patient experiences only a percentage of his/her weight and inertia. Inertia compensation is important, since the inertial forces can cause significant deviations from the desired unloading force, specially at low support forces and fast walking speeds. Furthermore, this feature enables the inertia of the harness and force sensing unit attached to the patient to be compensated for, making sure that the device does not interfere with the natural gait cycle. We present a functional prototype of the device, its characterization and experimental verification of the approach.
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