Design of and Experimentation with a Walking Assistance Robot

Design of and Experimentation with a Walking Assistance Robot

Zhang Lixun (Harbin Engineering University, China), Bai Dapeng (Harbin Engineering University, China) and Yi Lei (Harbin Engineering University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4422-9.ch084
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Abstract

To help patients with lower limb disabilities walk, a robot was designed to help train patients to stand up. An experimental prototype was developed, and experiments to train patients stand up and walk were performed using this robot. The results show that the robot can help patients to stand from a sitting position, which is the purpose of standing-up training. At the same time, the standing-up mechanism can coordinate with the walking assistance mechanism in the walking training mode, allowing the robot to help patients to perform rehabilitation walking training. The justification of the mechanism design was demonstrated, and thus, the robot can be used for stranding-up training and walking training.
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The Structure Of The Walking Assistance Robot

The rehabilitation wheelchair, shown Figure 1, mainly contains a wheelchair frame, divining wheels, universal wheels, drive motors, and a walking assistance mechanism The robot designed in this paper has four operating models wheelchair model, rehabilitation model, standing-up model and walking training model.

Figure 1.

Three-dimensional image of the walking assistance robot: (1) standing-up mechanism, (2) walking assistance mechanism, (3) universal wheels, (4) motors, (5) divining wheels, (6)wheelchair frame

Standing-Up Mechanism

The body weight is supported by a weight vest in the rope supported method, which gives a strong sense of restriction and can be dangerous for some patients. Partial excessive pressure will lead to pressure sores, and the weight vest can lead to brachial plexus injury to the arm. The seated standing-up mechanism can support patients’ body weight in the seated position, which is a benefit of the mechanism. It is suitable for patients with waist and arm weakness such as the elderly and paraplegic patients. We present a new kind of the seated standing-up mechanism in this paper.

The design of the standing-up mechanism is shown in Figure 2. This design has coupling between vertical and horizontal movements. When the motor drives the lift sea in the vertical direction, it can also move in the horizontal direction for the pull force provided by the wire. The patient’s center of gravity can move up and down under the control of one motor, which can help patient during standing-up training. The mechanism can control patients’ standing-up movement in the standing-up training mode, and it can ensure that the patients maintain balance and are safe in the walking training mode.

Figure 2.

Design program of the standing-up mechanism: (1) spring, (2) lift seat, (3) drive motor, (4) slide and slider, (5) wheel, (6) limit switch

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