Toward A Soft Robotic Ankle-Foot Orthosis (SR-AFO) Exosuit for Human Locomotion: Preliminary Results in Late Stance Plantarflexion Assistance

Carly M. Thalman, Tiffany Hertzell, Hyunglae Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper presents the design of a soft robotic ankle-foot orthosis (SR-AFO) exosuit to aid in plantarflexion for gait rehabilitation in individuals who suffer from irregular gaits due to stroke or other injuries. The SR-AFO exosuit is a sock-like garment fabricated from compliant fabrics. The SR-AFO exosuit aids in late stance of the walking gait in plantarflexion by contracting the actuator to pull the posterior end of the foot upward. This helps to reduce the muscle effort of the user during plantarflexion. The addition of a second actuator shows a 45.3% increase to 13. 51± 0.31 kg payload capacity. The actuators are oriented at an optimal angle of 5° to produce the highest pulling force. Three healthy participants are evaluated during walking trials with and without SR-AFO exosuit assistance while ankle angle and muscle activity are monitored. The gastrocnemius (GA) and soleus (SOL) muscle activity during late stance is reduced by 13.4% and 16.6% respectively. Tibialis anterior (TA) increases slightly during swing most likely due to the hysteresis in the system deflating during that window. The ankle range of motion remains within natural walking limitations and plantarflexion angle increases when the SR-AFO exosuit is active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages801-807
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728165707
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020 - New Haven, United States
Duration: May 15 2020Jul 15 2020

Publication series

Name2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020

Conference

Conference3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020
CountryUnited States
CityNew Haven
Period5/15/207/15/20

Keywords

  • Assistive Robots
  • Rehabilitation
  • Soft Robotics
  • Wearable Robots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization

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  • Cite this

    Thalman, C. M., Hertzell, T., & Lee, H. (2020). Toward A Soft Robotic Ankle-Foot Orthosis (SR-AFO) Exosuit for Human Locomotion: Preliminary Results in Late Stance Plantarflexion Assistance. In 2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020 (pp. 801-807). [9116050] (2020 3rd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2020). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/RoboSoft48309.2020.9116050