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Design of an Exoskeleton with Minimized Energy Consumption based on using Elastic and Dissipative Elements

Hyo-gon Kim, Jong-won Lee, Jaeho Jang, Sangdeok Park, and Changsoo Han*
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 13, no. 2, pp.463-474, 2015

Abstract : This study proposes the design of an exoskeleton featuring minimized energy consumption during stand-to-sit and sit-to-stand (STS) motion and walking while carrying a load through the utilization of elastic and dissipative elements. In order to determine which phase and joint can utilize elastic and dissipative elements, we analyzed a human’s walk and STS motions. With this human motion data, we propose an elastic element for hip adduction and abduction (Ad/Ab), series dissipative actuation (SDA) using a semi-active hydraulic system for hip flexion and extension (Fl/Ex) and parallel elastic and series dissipative actuation (PESDA) for the knee Fl/Ex, which is combined with the SDA and the parallel elastic element. The effect of the developed exoskeleton (EXO) with a hip Ad/Ab spring, hip SDA and knee PESDA was evaluated by measuring the user’s ground reaction force (GRF). When wearing the EXO with a hip Ad/Ab spring, hip SDA and knee PESDA, the subject’s GRF was smaller as compared to when the subject was not wearing the EXO while walking and performing the STS motion under a 20-kg load condition, except during the heel strike of the walk motion.

Keyword : Dissipative element, elastic element, exoskeleton, hydraulic system, PESDA, SDA.

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