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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2009

Yoshihiro Kusuda

The purpose of this paper is to describe new walking assist devices Honda is developing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe new walking assist devices Honda is developing.

Design/methodology/approach

The exhibition, press release and interview are described. The features of the walking assist devices are presented.

Findings

The paper finds that Honda is developing walking assist devices for elderly and disabled people based on its expertise in autonomous walking obtained through the development of Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the value of the walking assist devices.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2021

Wei Yang, Linghui Xu, Linfan Yu, Yuting Chen, Zehao Yan and Canjun Yang

Walking-aid exoskeletons can assist and protect effectively the group with lower limb muscle strength decline, workers, first responders and military personnel. However…

Abstract

Purpose

Walking-aid exoskeletons can assist and protect effectively the group with lower limb muscle strength decline, workers, first responders and military personnel. However, there is almost no united control strategy that can effectively assist daily walking. This paper aims to propose a hybrid oscillators’ (HOs) model to adapt to irregular gait (IG) patterns (frequent alternation between walking and standing or rapid changing of walking speed, etc.) and generate compliant and no-delay assistive torque.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed algorithm, HOs, combines adaptive oscillators (AOs) with phase oscillator through switching assistive mode depending on whether or not the AOs' predicting error of hip joint degree is exceeded our expectation. HOs can compensate for delay by predicting gait phase when in AOs mode. Several treadmill and free walking experiments are designed to test the adaptability and effectiveness of HOs model under IG.

Findings

The experimental results show that the assistive strategy based on the HOs is effective under IG patterns, and delay is compensated totally under quasiperiodic gait conditions where a smoother human–robot interaction (HRI) force and the reduction of HRI force peak are observed. Delay compensation is found very effective at improving the performance of the assistive exoskeleton.

Originality/value

A novel algorithm is proposed to improve the adaptability of a walking assist hip exoskeleton in daily walking as well as generate compliant, no-delay assistive torque when converging.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Aolin Tang and Qixin Cao

A walking assistant robot can help elderly people walk around independently, which could improve the life quality of the elderly and benefit our aging society. Ensuring…

Abstract

Purpose

A walking assistant robot can help elderly people walk around independently, which could improve the life quality of the elderly and benefit our aging society. Ensuring the elderly person's walking comfort with such a robot is very important. At present, the majority of walking assistant robot research does not focus on this field. The purpose of this paper is to examine the requirements of comfortable walking and outline the design of a motion control algorithm for a walking assistant robot, Walkmate III, based on comfort.

Design/methodology/approach

During walking, the walking assistant robot should be able to capture the intent of user, guide the user and move at the same pace as the user. Usually, force or haptic interface is used to detect the user's walking intention. The motion control system then transforms the forces applied by the user into the robot's motion. By surveying the elderly people at a nursing home, the authors find that this transformation is important to the walking comfortableness and should be carefully designed. In this paper, the model of walking assisting process with such kind of walking assistant robot is derived at first. Based on this model, a new motion control algorithm is then designed.

Findings

The elderly hoped that, in all topographic conditions, only small forces were needed to drive the walker during walking. Also, good maneuverability was also very important for a walker, to offer the user comfort, which meant the walking assistant robot should be able to respond to the input forces quickly and precisely. Currently widely‐used motion control algorithms cannot satisfy all those requirements. In this paper, a new motion control algorithm is proposed, which can get a fast and precise response to the input forces and the input forces needed to drive the robot are kept at a preferred small level, so that the user will not feel tired during walking. Furthermore, by modifying, force feedback can be realized to improve the comfortableness of walking.

Practical implications

The availability of walking assistant robot with improved walking comfortableness might encourage a wider adoption of robotics in our daily life. It could also benefit our aging society by improving the life quality of the elderly and reducing the pressure deriving from nursing labor shortages.

Originality/value

This paper is of value to engineers and researchers developing walking assistant robots for the elderly people.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Du-Xin Liu, Xinyu Wu, Wenbin Du, Can Wang, Chunjie Chen and Tiantian Xu

The purpose of this paper is to model and predict suitable gait trajectories of lower-limb exoskeleton for wearer during rehabilitation walking. Lower-limb exoskeleton is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to model and predict suitable gait trajectories of lower-limb exoskeleton for wearer during rehabilitation walking. Lower-limb exoskeleton is widely used for assisting walk in rehabilitation field. One key problem for exoskeleton control is to model and predict suitable gait trajectories for wearer.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors propose a Deep Spatial-Temporal Model (DSTM) for generating knee joint trajectory of lower-limb exoskeleton, which first leverages Long-Short Term Memory framework to learn the inherent spatial-temporal correlations of gait features.

Findings

With DSTM, the pathological knee joint trajectories can be predicted based on subject’s other joints. The energy expenditure is adopted for verifying the effectiveness of new recovery gait pattern by monitoring dynamic heart rate. The experimental results demonstrate that the subjects have less energy expenditure in new recovery gait pattern than in others’ normal gait patterns, which also means the new recovery gait is more suitable for subject.

Originality/value

Long-Short Term Memory framework is first used for modeling rehabilitation gait, and the deep spatial–temporal relationships between joints of gait data can obtained successfully.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

B.M. Sayed, Mohamed Fanni, Mohamed S. Raessa and Abdelfatah Mohamed

This paper aims to design and control of a novel compact transportation system called the “wearable vehicle”. The wearable vehicle allows for traversing all types of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to design and control of a novel compact transportation system called the “wearable vehicle”. The wearable vehicle allows for traversing all types of terrains while transporting one's luggage in a comfortable and efficient manner.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed design consists of a lower limb exoskeleton carrying two motorized wheels and two free wheels installed alongside its feet. This paper presents a detailed description of the system with its preliminary design and finite element analysis. Moreover, the system has been optimally designed to decrease wearable vehicle’s total weight, consequently leading to a reduction in motor size. Finally, two controllers have been designed to achieve stable operation of the wearable vehicle while walking. A PD controller with gravity compensation has been designed to ensure that the wearable vehicle tracks human motion, while a PID controller has been designed to ensure that the zero moment point is close to the center of the system’s support polygon.

Findings

Experimental tests were carried out to check the wearable vehicle concept. The obtained results prove the feasibility of the proposed wearable vehicle from the design, dynamics and control viewpoints.

Practical implications

This proposed wearable vehicle’s purpose is for traveling faster with less effort than normal walking. When a human comes across a flat open ground, the wearable vehicle can be used as a vehicle. However, when a human enters crowded traffic, an unstructured area or other obstacles like stairs, the vehicle can be switched into walking mode.

Originality/value

The wearable vehicle has seven DOFs exoskeletons, two motorized wheels, two free wheels and a foldable seat. It is used as a vehicle via its motorized and free wheels to travel fast with minimal effort. In addition, the human can switch easily into walking mode, if there is unstructured terrain to be traversed. Furthermore, an illustration of system's mechanisms and main feature parameters are presented to become acquainted with the ultimate benefits of the new system.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2018

Bo Li, Bo Yuan, Shuai Tang, Yuwen Mao, Dongmei Zhang, Changyun Huang and Bilian Tan

This paper aims to investigate weight-climbing assistance strategy for the biomechanical design of passive knee-assisting exoskeleton (PKAExo) and evaluate a designed…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate weight-climbing assistance strategy for the biomechanical design of passive knee-assisting exoskeleton (PKAExo) and evaluate a designed PKAExo which stores energy when the knee joint flexes and releases the energy to assist ascending when the knee joint extends.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors constructed theoretic modeling of human weight-climbing to analyze characteristics of knee angle and moment. They then conducted camera-based movement analysis, muscle strength and endurance tests and surface electromyography (sEMG) measures to verify the relationship of knee angle and moment with both stair height and load weight. Afterwards, the authors proposed an assistant strategy for passive knee assistance, then gave out designed PKAExo and conducted mechanical experiment to test the knee-assisting torque. Finally, the authors conducted comparison experiment based on measuring the sEMG signals of knee extensor to verify the assistance effect of the PKAExo for weight-climbing.

Findings

The knee extensor produces the maximum force during weight-climbing, and the muscle force provided by knee extensor has significant increasing rate along with the stair height. Thus, the assistance torque of PKAExo is designed to increase nonlinearly along with increasing knee angle. It stores energy when knee flexes and assists when knee extends. Both the mechanical experiment and comparison experiment have demonstrated that the PKAExo is able to provide nonlinear assistance torque for weight-climbing, thus decreasing the average maximum load of knee extensor by about 21 per cent, reducing muscle fatigue and enhancing wearer’s weight-climbing ability.

Originality/value

The authors construct theoretic maximum force model produced by knee extensor for weight-climbing in static situation and conduct a series of experiments to verify and revise the model, which is the fundamental reference for knee-assisting mechanism designed for weight-climbing. The authors have also provided and validated an assistant strategy and the mechanism based on the biomechanical analysis, which aims to translate wearer’s energy-providing mode form high load to mid-low load by storing energy when knee flexes and assisting when knee extends. The PKAExo decreases the maximum load of knee extensor, reduces muscle fatigue and helps people to easily climb with load.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Ru Han and Sumin Helen Koo

This research was to understand people's perceptions and trends in wearable robots and the research questions were as follows: (1) investigating key terms related to…

Abstract

Purpose

This research was to understand people's perceptions and trends in wearable robots and the research questions were as follows: (1) investigating key terms related to wearable robots that were frequently used by and exposed to people and (2) analyzing relationships among those key terms.

Design/methodology/approach

Textom, a big data collection and analysis software system, was used to collect data using the keyword – wearable robot.

Findings

The frequency-inverse document frequency, term frequency and central analyses were investigated, and the major key terms related to wearable robots and their connectivity were identified. After performing network analysis and convergence of iterated correlations analyses using UCINET and NetDraw programs, the major key term categories were identified.

Originality/value

It is important to understand how people think and perceive about wearable robots before developing wearable robots. The results of the research are expected to be helpful to better understand how people perceive and what key terms are mainly discussed by people in both countries and ultimately help when developing wearable robots with better market targeting approach methods.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2018

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to provide details of the emerging families of robotic exoskeletons that are aimed at industrial applications.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide details of the emerging families of robotic exoskeletons that are aimed at industrial applications.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, this paper considers the reasons for, and benefits of, using robotic exoskeletons in industrial applications. The paper then discusses a range of products and developments and their applications. Finally, brief concluding comments are drawn.

Findings

Following earlier military and medical developments, recent years have seen a huge upsurge in interest in industrial robotic exoskeletons. A new generation of products are under development in the USA, the Europe and the Far East by a growing number of companies, and some have entered production. The aim of developing industrial robotic exoskeletons is to assist workers in physically demanding tasks and, thus, reduce the incidence of industrial injuries and associated financial consequences. Several applications have been reported, most notably in the Far East, across a diverse range of industries.

Originality/value

New families of robotic exoskeletons are being developed, and these are poised to exert a major impact on many industries and constitute a significant market opportunity. This paper provides a timely insight into these developments.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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