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Open AccessArticle

Control of the Sit-To-Stand Transfer of a Biped Robotic Device for Postural Rehabilitation

by Giuseppe Menga 1,*,† and Marco Ghirardi 2,†
1
Department of Control and Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
2
Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Robotics 2019, 8(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8040091
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Italian Robotics)
This paper deals with the control of the sit-to-stand transfer of a biped robotic device (either an autonomous biped robot or a haptic assistive exoskeleton for postural rehabilitation). The control has been synthesized, instead of considering the physiology, analyzing the basic laws of dynamics. The transfer of a human from sitting on a chair to an erect posture is an interesting case study, because it treats biped balance in a two-phase dynamic setting, with an external force disturbance (the chair–pelvis contact) affecting the center of pressure under the feet. At the beginning, a body is sitting, with a fixed pelvis moving with the hips going toward the supporting feet and, contemporaneously, releasing the load from the chair with ankles and knee torques. Then, after lift-off, it reaches and maintains an erect posture. The paper objectives are threefold: identifying the major dynamical determinants of the exercise; sythesizing an automatic control for an autonomous device; proposing an innovative approach for the rehabilitation process with an exoskeleton. For this last objective, the paper extends the idea of the authors of a haptic exoskeleton for rehabilitation. It is driven to control the joints by electromiographical signals from the patient. The two spaces, cartesian (world) and joint, where, respectively, the automatic control and the patient operate, are considered and a technique to blend the two actions is proposed. The exoskeleton is programed to perform the exercise autonomously. Then, during the evolution of the phases of rehabilitation, we postulated to seamlessly move the control from one space (purely autonomous) to another (completely driven by the patient), choosing and keeping the postural tasks and joints (heaps, knees, or ankles) on which to apply each one of the two actions without interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: exoskeleton; haptics; rehabilitation; postural control; postural balance; multi-chain dynamical systems exoskeleton; haptics; rehabilitation; postural control; postural balance; multi-chain dynamical systems
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Menga, G.; Ghirardi, M. Control of the Sit-To-Stand Transfer of a Biped Robotic Device for Postural Rehabilitation. Robotics 2019, 8, 91.

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