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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8091610

Towards Online Estimation of Human Joint Muscular Torque with a Lower Limb Exoskeleton Robot

1
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin 150001, China
2
Shenzhen Academy of Aerospace Technology, Shenzhen 518000, China
3
Department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Friendly Robotics)
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Abstract

Exoskeleton robots demonstrate promise in their application in assisting or enhancing human physical capacity. Joint muscular torques (JMT) reflect human effort, which can be applied on an exoskeleton robot to realize an active power-assist function. The estimation of human JMT with a wearable exoskeleton is challenging. This paper proposed a novel human lower limb JMT estimation method based on the inverse dynamics of the human body. The method has two main parts: the inverse dynamic approach (IDA) and the sensing system. We solve the inverse dynamics of each human leg separately to shorten the serial chain and reduce computational complexity, and divide the JMT into the mass-induced one and the foot-contact-force (FCF)-induced one to avoid switching the dynamic equation due to different contact states of the feet. An exoskeleton embedded sensing system is designed to obtain the user’s motion data and FCF required by the IDA by mapping motion information from the exoskeleton to the human body. Compared with the popular electromyography (EMG) and wearable sensor based solutions, electrodes, sensors, and complex wiring on the human body are eliminated to improve wearing convenience. A comparison experiment shows that this method produces close output to a motion analysis system with different subjects in different motion. View Full-Text
Keywords: human joint torque estimation; active power-assist; lower limb exoskeleton; inverse dynamics human joint torque estimation; active power-assist; lower limb exoskeleton; inverse dynamics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, M.; Deng, J.; Zha, F.; Qiu, S.; Wang, X.; Chen, F. Towards Online Estimation of Human Joint Muscular Torque with a Lower Limb Exoskeleton Robot. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1610.

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