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Evaluation Of Impedance Control On A Powered Hip Exoskeleton

Abstract
This thesis presents an impedance control strategy for a novel powered hip exoskeleton designed to provide partial assistance and leverage the dynamics of human gait. The control strategy is based on impedance control and provides the user assistance as needed which is determined by the user’s interaction with the exoskeleton. A series elastic element is used to drive the exoskeleton and measures the interaction torque between the user and the device. The device operates in two modes. Free mode is a low impedance state that attempts to provide no assistance. Assist mode increases the gains of the controller to provide assistance as needed. The device was tested on five healthy subjects, and the resulting assistive hip torque was evaluated to determine the ability of the controller to provide gait assistance. The device was evaluated at different speeds to assess the gait speed adaptation performance of the controller. Results show that hip torque assistance range was between 0.3 to 0.5 Nm/kg across the subjects, corresponding to 24% to 40% of the maximum hip torque requirements of healthy adults during walking. The peak power provided by the system is 35 W on average and a peak power of up to 45 W.
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