Optimized Motion Control of an Intelligent Cane Robot for Easing Muscular Fatigue in the Elderly During Walking
Pei Di*1, Jian Huang*2, Shotaro Nakagawa*1,
Kosuke Sekiyama*1, Qiang Huang*3, and Toshio Fukuda*1,*4
*1Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8603, Japan
*2Department of Control Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430-074, China
*3School of Mechatronic Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100-081, China
*4Faculty of Science and Technology, Meijo University, Aichi 468-8502, Japan
In previous works, an intelligent cane robot was proposed to assist the elderly or persons with conditions that slightly restrict their motion ability. The cane robot can help the elderly walk in both indoor and outdoor environments because of its miniaturized design and mobility. In the intentional direction (ITD) concept the user’s walking intention is estimated by analyzing signals from a six-axis force/torque sensor. An admittance control method controls the motion of the cane robot. In some cases, however the elderly can not walk uniformly because one leg suffers from muscular weakness. When the affected leg is in the support phase, the cane robot should stop to absorb more strain than the affected leg. When the healthy leg is in the support phase, the cane robot should move forward according to ITD. In contrast to ITD, the motion of the cane robot should be controlled considering the walking pattern characteristics of the elderly to ensure safety and effectiveness. In this paper, an optimizedmotion control of the cane robot is proposed that is based on the characteristics gait pattern (CGP). An on-shoe load sensor was used to evaluate the reduction in muscular fatigue for the user’s affected leg. The effectiveness of the proposed method was verified through experiments.
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