IEEE Transactions on Robotics

| 2022

A Time-Independent Control System for Natural Human Gait Assistance With a Soft Exoskeleton

Xiaowei Tan, Bi Zhang, Guangjun Liu, Xingang Zhao, Yiwen Zhao

State Key Laboratory of Robotics, Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang

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exoskeletons, control systems, legged locomotion, torque, pulleys


When applying exoskeletons for walking assistance, one important consideration is to ensure that the users retain full control over the exoskeleton-provided assistance, which is quite limited in existing exoskeletons due to the absence of a suitable control system. In this article, a time-independent exoskeleton control system is developed based on a novel assistance profile generation method and an iterative force control method to enable continuous assistance adjustment. The assistance profile is formulated as a Gaussian function with a human state variable and can be updated online to adapt to different users. The proposed profile continuously self-adjusts along the movement of the user's leg, especially when users change their walking patterns. The proposed control system iteratively compensates for the force control lag and amplitude attenuation to enable precise tracking of the assistance profile during natural human walking. Experiments have been conducted using a soft exoskeleton on subjects with and without prior experience using an exoskeleton. The experimental results have shown the effectiveness of the proposed control system compared with a common time-dependent control system.

Moticon's Summary

In their project the authors developed a control system for an exoskeleton leveraging sensor feedback. Moticon's OpenGo sensor insoles were used in this control system to provide feedback on the force distribution under the user's feet. This research papers demonstrates the applicability of sensor insoles to serve as a feedback sensor for force distribution in robotic assisted locomotion.

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