ABLE: a standing style transfer system for a person with disabled lower limbs (improvement of stability when traveling)

Y. Mori (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University, Hitachi, Japan)
K. Maejima (Nakayama Co. Ltd, Thuchiura, Japan)
K. Inoue (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University, Hitachi, Japan)
N. Shiroma (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University, Hitachi, Japan)
and
Y. Fukuoka (Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ibaraki University, Hitachi, Japan)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Publication date: 3 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a standing style transfer system, ABLE, designed to enable a person with disabled lower limbs to do daily‐life activities without special infrastructure. Actually, ABLE is mainly intended for use by people who have spinal cord injuries and who cannot move hip joints and lower extremities: the level of spinal cord injury is L1.

Design/methodology/approach

ABLE comprises three modules: a powered lower extremity orthosis, a pair of telescopic crutches, and a pair of mobile platforms. When traveling in a standing position, the user wears the powered lower extremity orthosis to fix his posture, and rides on the mobile platforms. The user uses crutches to keep his body stable. These telescopic crutches also play an important role of power assistance in standing‐up and sitting‐down motions, or going up/down a step. The user can enter narrow spaces, although stability is emphasized in wide spaces because it is possible to alter the contact points of the crutches freely.

Findings

Motions are discussed in a standing position: traveling and rotating, and the chair and step motions. Experimental results related to these motions confirm the design's effectiveness. The authors improve previously developed mobile platforms for better operationality and stability. An ultrasonic motor was used for steering the mobile platform instead of the prior DC motor. The benefits of the ultrasonic motor enable the new platform to reduce its backlash in steering. A supporting plate and an active ankle joint attached to each mobile platform contribute stability when traveling in the standing position. The authors show the experimental results using new mobile platforms.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates novelty and originality of ABLE in its composition, which enables a person with disabled lower limbs to travel in a standing position on a pair of small mobile platforms. This system is regarded as a biped‐type leg‐wheeled robot system that has high energy efficiency and good mobility for steps because of its wheels and legs; moreover, it has a pair of crutches for stability.

Keywords

Citation

Mori, Y., Maejima, K., Inoue, K., Shiroma, N. and Fukuoka, Y. (2011), "ABLE: a standing style transfer system for a person with disabled lower limbs (improvement of stability when traveling)", Industrial Robot, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 234-245. https://doi.org/10.1108/01439911111122725

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.