This chapter presents the results of research work on design, actuator selection and motion control of a lower extremity exoskeleton developed to provide legged mobility to spinal cord injured (SCI) individuals. The exoskeleton has two degrees of freedom per leg. Hip and knee joints are actuated in the sagittal plane by using DC servomotors. Additional effort supplied by user’s arms through crutches is defined as user support rate (USR). Experimentally determined USR values are considered in actuator torque computations for achieving a realistic actuator selection. A custom-embedded system is used to control exoskeleton. Reference joint trajectories are determined by using clinical gait analysis (CGA). Three-loop cascade controllers with current, velocity and position feedback are designed for controlling the joint motions of the exoskeleton. A non-linear ARX model is used to determine controller parameters. Overall performance and an assistive effect of WSE-2 are experimentally investigated by conducting tests with a paraplegic patient with T10 complete injury.
Part of the book: Mechatronic Systems in Engineering