Proposal of Wheeled Gait-Training Walker with Dual-Assist Arms and Preliminary Pelvis-Handling Control
Kenji Uegami*, Hiroki Aoyama**, Katsushi Ogawa*, Kazuo Yonenobu***, and Seonghee Jeong*
*Osaka Electro-Communication University
18-8 Hatsucho, Neyagawa, Osaka 572-8530, Japan
4-5-4 Higashioda, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0012, Japan
***Osaka Yukioka College of Health Science
1-1-41 Sojiji, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0801, Japan
To achieve good rehabilitation in a person, the amount of walking by the person must be increased. Herein, a compact wheeled gait-training walker with dual-assist arms for assisting pelvic motion is proposed. The training walker is constructed by modifying a commercial wheeled walker with armrests. Therefore, it can be used easily by patients to perform their daily activities at rehabilitation sites. The hardware system and controller of the proposed assisting arms are designed based on gait-assist motions conducted by a physical therapist. The dual arms can achieve a pelvis-assisting motion with five degrees of freedom. A trajectory-following control with virtual compliance is implemented for the arms. Gait-assisting experiments are conducted, in which the dual arms allow a pelvic-like plate to follow the trajectory of a reference pose while reducing the upper body’s weight resting on the armrests. A 20 N force on the armrests, which represents the upper-limb load, is reduced while the plate follows the trajectory, and the proposed gait-assisting controller is validated.
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