In this study, our goal was to improve the standing balance of people with a spinal cord injury by using a wearable exoskeleton that has ankle and knee actuation in the sagittal plane. Three test-pilots that have an incomplete spinal cord injury wore the exoskeleton and tried to maintain standing balance without stepping while receiving anteroposterior pushes. Two balance controllers were tested: One providing assistance based on the subject's body sway and one based on the whole body momentum. For both controllers, the balance performances of the test-pilots wearing the exoskeleton were assessed based on the center of mass kinematics and compared to the condition in which the device did not provide any assistance. One of the test-pilots was not able to maintain balance without assistance, but could withstand small pushes when any of the balance controllers was implemented. For this test-pilot the recovery time and sway amplitude hardly varied with the type of balance controller that was used. For the other two test-pilots the recovery time and the sway amplitude were smallest using the body sway controller. In conclusion, the wearable exoskeleton with balance controller was able to improve the balance performance of the test-pilots by reducing the recovery time after a perturbation and by enabling one of the test-pilots to maintain balance, who could not maintain balance by himself.
|Title of host publication||BIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics|
|Place of Publication||Piscataway, NJ, USA|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
|Event||7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018 - Enschede, Netherlands|
Duration: 26 Aug 2018 → 29 Aug 2018
|Conference||7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018|
|Period||26/08/18 → 29/08/18|