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Development of an Active Gait Assistive Device with Haptic Information

햅틱 연동 능동 보행보조장치 개발

  • Pyo, Sang-Hun (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and ReCAPT, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Oh, Min-Kyun (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Graduate School of Medicine) ;
  • Yoon, Jung-Won (School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and ReCAPT, Gyeongsang National University)
  • 표상훈 (경상대학교 기계항공 공학부) ;
  • 오민균 (경상대학교 병원 재활의학과) ;
  • 윤정원 (경상대학교 기계항공 공학부)
  • Received : 2015.02.15
  • Accepted : 2015.03.15
  • Published : 2015.06.01

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to develop a gait assistive device to enhance the gait stability and training efficiency of stroke patients. The configuration of this device is mainly composed of a motored wheel and a single cane whose lower end is attached to a motored wheel frame. A patient can feel haptic information from continuous ground contact from the wheel while walking through the grip handle. In addition, the wheeled cane can avoid using excessive use of the patient's upper limb for weight support and motivate the patient to use a paralyzed lower limb more actively. Moreover, the proposed device can provide intuitive and safe user interaction by integrating a force sensor and a tilt sensor equipped to the cane frame, and a switch sensor at the cane's handle. The admittance control has been implemented for the patient to change the walking speed intuitively by using the interaction forces at the handle. A hemi-paretic stroke patient participated in the walking assistive experiments as a pilot study to verify the effectiveness of the proposed haptic cane system. The results showed that the patient could improve walking speed and muscle activations during walking with a constant speed mode of the haptic cane. Moreover, the patient could maintain the preferred walking speeds and gait stability regardless of the magnitude of resistance forces with the admittance control mode of the haptic cane. The proposed robotic gait assistive device with a simple and intuitive mechanism can provide efficient gait training modes to stroke patients with high possibilities of widespread utilizations.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국연구재단

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