Self-Powered Flywheel-Infinitely Variable Transmission Actuator for Artificial Knee Joints
Roberta Aló†, Francesco Bottiglione, and Giacomo Mantriota
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Matematica e Management, Politecnico di Bari
Viale Japigia 182, Bari 70126, Italy
The efficient energetics of human walking could possibly be used to fulfill the total power requirement of human knee, without requiring any additional sources of energy. This study intends to addresses this issue by examining the idea of a novel self-powered actuator for artificial knee joints of wearable robots. The self-powered Flywheel-Infinitely Variable Transmission (F-IVT) is an actuator whose only source of power is a flywheel that stores and delivers energy from and to the knee joint by changing the speed ratio of the IVT according to the phase of the gait cycle. This study evaluates the efficacy of this novel actuator by estimating the amount of energy it can deliver to the knee joint while the subject walks on level ground at varied speeds.
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