Design and development of hardware platform for fully-assistive lower leg exoskeleton
thesisposted on 2021-05-23, 15:45 authored by Bryan Bonnici
The abundance of cheap, portable computing has allowed for complex applications of robotics, especially in the medical rehabilitation field. The emergence of wearable robotics which simulate the movement of healthy individuals is seen as a new option for treating and rehabilitating individuals with paraplegia and other motor disorders. This thesis presents the design and implementation of a miniaturized, low-power, extensible hardware platform for control of a fully-assistive lower-body exoskeleton. A preliminary ARM Cortex-M4-based control platform using modular COTS parts was developed and implemented in a medical exoskeleton (the Bionik Laboratories’ ARKE) and was evaluated through human medical trials. Clinical feedback was used to drive the design of a new platform. A functional prototype of the design was constructed and retrofitted onto an exoskeleton. Data acquisition and MATLAB was then used to evaluate and compare the performance of the two designs. A size reduction of 29% is achieved.