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Mechanical Sciences An open-access journal for theoretical and applied mechanics
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Volume 9, issue 2
Mech. Sci., 9, 405-416, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-405-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Mech. Sci., 9, 405-416, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-405-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Nov 2018

Research article | 20 Nov 2018

Kinematic analysis and optimization of a planar parallel compliant mechanism for self-alignment knee exoskeleton

Yijun Niu1,2,3, Zhibin Song1,2,3, and Jiansheng Dai1,2,3,4 Yijun Niu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Mechanism Theory and Equipment Design and Ministry of Education, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300350 China
  • 2School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300350, China
  • 3Centre for Advanced Mechanisms and Robotics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300350, China
  • 4School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, King's College London, University of London, Strand London, WC2R 2LS, UK

Abstract. Misalignment between the instantaneous center of rotation (ICR) of human joint and the ICR of wearable robotic exoskeleton widely exists among most of exoskeletons widely used in rehabilitation, which results in discomfort, even endangers human safety. In order to alleviate it, this study focuses on the solution of misalignment in knee joint of lower limb exoskeletons, and proposes a compliant five-bar parallel mechanism, which offers two mobility in sagittal plane, as well as the torsional springs mounted on this mechanism, have the potential to automatically adjust the ICR of output link connected to thigh with respect to the basis link connected to shank. To reach this goal, we build the stiffness model of the mechanism and optimize its variables. And the self-alignment of the compliant five-bar parallel mechanism is verified via experimental investigations.

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Short summary
In rehabilitation, the widely existing misalignment between human limb and exoskeleton causes discomfort even danger. To alleviate the misalignment in lower extremity exoskeleton, this study proposes a compliant parallel mechanism, which has the potential to automatically change its configuration to make exoskeleton knee joint fit the human joint movements. And the self-alignment performance of the mechanism is validated via conducting a series of experiments under different working conditions.
In rehabilitation, the widely existing misalignment between human limb and exoskeleton causes...
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