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      Preliminary design and development of a low-cost lower-limb exoskeleton system for paediatric rehabilitation

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          Abstract

          In this work, the design, modeling, and development of a low-cost lower limb exoskeleton (LLES) system are presented for paediatric rehabilitation (age: 8–12 years, mass: 25–40 kg, height: 115–125 cm). The exoskeleton system, having three degrees-of-freedom (DOFs) for each limb, is designed in the SolidWorks software. A wheel support module is introduced in the design to ensure the user’s stability and safety. The finite element analysis of the hip joint connector along with the wheel support module is realized for maximum loading conditions. The holding torque capacity of exoskeleton joints is estimated using an affordable spring-based experimental setup. A working prototype of the LLES is developed with holding torque rated actuators. Thereafter, the dynamic analysis for the human-exoskeleton coupled system is carried out using the Euler-Lagrange principle and SimMechanics model. The simulation results of estimating joint actuator torques are obtained for two paraplegic subjects (Case I: 10 years age, 30 kg mass, 120 cm height and Case II: 12 years age, 40 kg mass, 125 cm height). The details of input parameters such as body mass, link lengths, joint angles, and contact forces are discussed. The simulation results of dynamic analysis have shown the potential of estimating the torques of joint actuators for the developed prototype during motion assistance and gait rehabilitation.

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          Most cited references36

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          Design and Evaluation of the LOPES Exoskeleton Robot for Interactive Gait Rehabilitation

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            Lower Extremity Exoskeletons and Active Orthoses: Challenges and State-of-the-Art

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              Hip joint loading during walking and running, measured in two patients.

              The resultant hip joint force, its orientation and the moments were measured in two patients during walking and running using telemetering total hip prostheses. One patient underwent bilateral joint replacement and a second patient, additionally suffering from a neuropathic disease and atactic gait patterns, received one instrumented hip implant. The joint loading was observed over the first 30 and 18 months, respectively, following implantation. In the first patient the median peak forces increased with the walking speed from about 280% of the patient's body weight (BW) at 1 km h-1 to approximately 480% BW at 5 km h-1. Jogging and very fast walking both raised the forces to about 550% BW; stumbling on one occasion caused magnitudes of 720% BW. In the second patient median forces at 3 km h-1 were about 410% BW and a force of 870% BW was observed during stumbling. During all types of activities, the direction of the peak force in the frontal plane changed only slightly when the force magnitude was high. Perpendicular to the long femoral axis, the peak force acted predominantly from medial to lateral. The component from ventral to dorsal increased at higher force magnitudes. In one hip in the first patient and in the second patient the direction of large forces approximated the average anteversion of the natural femur. The torsional moments around the stem of the implant were 40.3 N m in the first patient and 24 N m in the second.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
                Proc Inst Mech Eng H
                SAGE Publications
                0954-4119
                2041-3033
                May 2021
                February 16 2021
                May 2021
                : 235
                : 5
                : 530-545
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Mechanical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, India
                Article
                10.1177/0954411921994940
                1573f5bf-8047-4522-ba08-9cd336cba38b
                © 2021

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