Towards ergonomic and transparent pelvis support during treadmill-based gait training
Treadmill-based rehabilitation robots have been intensely used to help neurological patients regain the ability to walk by supporting leg (knee and hip) and pelvis movements. In particular, the human pelvis moves in an almost-sinusoidal pattern during normal gait and it facilitates weight shifting from one leg to the other. As such, supporting lateral pelvis movements is a crucial role during gait training and restraining the pelvis adversely affects gait dynamics and thereby may limit the rehabilitation process.
To this aim, a compliant pelvis module has been developed to accommodate for pelvis movements through a 6-DoF spring-based end-effector mechanism, called MUCDA, to be integrated with a treadmill-based gait rehabilitation robot. Lateral movements of the MUCDA are actuated by a direct-drive electromagnetic linear motor, while an estimate of the pelvis position and orientation is obtained by combining information from an infrared camera and an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
In this project, you will analyze the ergonomics of the MUCDA system and you will design a mechanical solution to improve comfort and wearability. Furthermore, to improve the transparency of the system, you will implement a control strategy to support lateral movements by accommodating natural pelvis patterns. Finally, you will validate the developed control strategies through human experiments with the developed system.
Aim of the project
Ergonomics and control improvements of a previously developed compliant pelvis module to support lateral movements during treadmill-based gait rehabilitation.
Literature research: Review state-of-the-art lower-limb gait rehabilitation robots and control strategies to support pelvis movements.
Development phase: New mechanical design of the pelvis interface to improve comfort and wearability, implementation of control strategies to improve the transparency of the pelvis module.
Validation phase: Experiments (with and without humans) to validate the methods.
Scientific report: The methods, results, and all research activities are documented in a scientific report.
Basic knowledge of Robotics and Mechatronics
Good knowledge of Mechanical Design
Good knowledge of Modeling and Control
Good knowledge of MATLAB and SIMULINK