Authors: Aliasgar Morbi; Mojtaba Ahmadi; Avi Nativ
Addresses: Department of Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada ' Department of Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada ' NeuroGym Technologies Inc., Ottawa, ON, K1V 7Y6, Canada
Abstract: This paper describes GaitEnable, an actuated mobile gait trainer that imposes minimal motion constraints and that facilitates safe overground gait and balance training. GaitEnable is composed of a powered omnidirectional mobile base, a passive body weight support system, and a reactive control system that regulates the interaction between the user and the device. GaitEnable's actuated mobile moves cooperatively with the user in any direction, and provides the force and motion cues necessary to initiate, sustain, and stabilise a user's gait. Data from preliminary experiments performed by a healthy subject demonstrate that GaitEnable is capable of perturbing and assisting a user's gait in a controlled manner and that its omnidirectional mobile base reduces pelvis and torso motion constraints. The results also demonstrate that GaitEnable can easily be programmed to simulate different types of behaviours and motion constraints.
Keywords: mobile robots; gait rehabilitation; rehabilitation robotics; human-robot interaction; HRI; admittance control; minimal motion constraints; safe overground gait; balance training; passive body weight support; reactive control; pelvis motion; torso motion; simulation.
International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, 2013 Vol.3 No.4, pp.247 - 262
Received: 14 Aug 2012
Accepted: 05 Feb 2013
Published online: 18 Dec 2013 *