JRM Vol.34 No.4 pp. 857-866
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2022.p0857


Development and Evaluation of Dorsiflexion Support Unit Using Elastomer Embedded Flexible Joint

Takehito Kikuchi*1, Toma Ono*2, Maki Nakahara*2, Isao Abe*1, Kenichiro Tanaka*3, Yasushi Matsumoto*4, and Naoki Chijiwa*5

*1Faculty of Science and Technology, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*2Graduate School of Engineering, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*3Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*4Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture
1-11 Uenogaoka Higashi, Oita 870-0833, Japan

*5Arizono Orthopedic Supplies Co., Ltd.
1-7-5 Higashida, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu 805-8538, Japan

February 13, 2022
May 13, 2022
August 20, 2022
ankle, gait support, flexible joint, dorsiflexion, gait analysis

In our previous study, we developed a walking support shoe with an elastomer-embedded flexible joint (EEFJ) to assist the function of tibialis anterior (TA) in initial stances (IC) and swing phases (SW). However, its usability and supporting effect have not been sufficiently evaluated. Therefore, in this study, we developed a dorsiflexion support unit (DSU) using the EEFJs with consideration on the usability for frail persons. Their needs were investigated in hearings at community centers. With reference to their comments, we proposed a three-phased scenario in which pre- / post-activities were considered as important factors of its product design of the DSU. We designed the DSU for better usability in the pre- / post-activities. Its basic function and mechanical properties were also investigated in experiments. According to the mechanical tests, the supporting torque was around 10% of the activation of TA in IC. In addition, the results of gait tests show reductions of ankle rotations by 17% and 11% in IC and SW, respectively, without significant increases of TA activations.

Basic structure of the DSU

Basic structure of the DSU

Cite this article as:
T. Kikuchi, T. Ono, M. Nakahara, I. Abe, K. Tanaka, Y. Matsumoto, and N. Chijiwa, “Development and Evaluation of Dorsiflexion Support Unit Using Elastomer Embedded Flexible Joint,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.34 No.4, pp. 857-866, 2022.
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Last updated on May. 19, 2024