Exoskeleton robots have been developed in various fields and are divided into electric and hydraulic exoskeletons according to the actuator type. In the case of hydraulic robots, because a unidirectional pump is applied, there are limitations to the wearer’s walking. In addition, robot systems are complicated, because a directional control valve is required to change the direction of the actuator. To solve these problems, we designed the electro-hydraulic actuator (EHA) system which has both the hydraulic and electric advantages. The EHA system consists of a hydraulic bidirectional pump, a motor, a hydraulic cylinder, and various valves. For the development of the piston pump, we analyzed the gait cycle and considered the flow rate and pulsation rate. In order to reduce the size and weight of the EHA system, the valves were made from one manifold, and the hydraulic circuit was simplified. We verified that the developed EHA system is applicable to robots through position and force control experiments. Because the hydraulic system is nonlinear, we designed a sliding mode control (SMC) and compared it with the proportional integral derivative (PID) controller.
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