Research Papers

Synthesis of a Pattern Generation Mechanism for Gait Rehabilitation

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhiming Ji1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102ji@njit.edu

Yazan Manna

Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102


Corresponding author.

J. Med. Devices 2(3), 031004 (Sep 04, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2975964 History: Received December 18, 2007; Revised July 24, 2008; Published September 04, 2008

Gait training is a major part of neurological rehabilitation. Robotic gait training systems provide paraplegic patients with consistent, labor-saving, and adjustable physical therapy over traditional manual trainings. However the high cost and social-technical concerns on safe operation currently limit their availability to only a few large rehabilitation institutions. This paper describes the synthesis of a linkage mechanism for gait pattern generation in a sagittal plane. The synthesis of the mechanism starts with the definition of a closed ankle trajectory obtained from normative gait data. The synthesis process we developed includes (1) construction of the desired ankle trajectory, (2) formulation of an objective function to be used for linkage optimization, (3) development of a procedure for transforming an initial guess to a starting set of design variables for optimization, and (4) development of a point-matching process needed for implementation. A set of stature-referenced parameters was successfully produced for a crank-rocker mechanism to generate the desired gait path. A simple linkage mechanism can be used as the pattern generator in a gait training system, and the presented process has been used to synthesize a linkage for a specific gait pattern.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Example of gait data, which is generated with data obtained from Clinical Gait Analysis Normative Gait Database (28)

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Figure 2

Schematics of gait kinematics

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Figure 3

Ankle trajectory: the open ends of the path are shown by the zoomed in region of the path as an inset

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Figure 4

Design parameters of a crank-rocker mechanism

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Figure 5

Coupler curve generated with the initial set of linkage parameters

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Figure 6

Coupler curve generated with the starting set of linkage parameters

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Figure 7

Path generated with the resulting set of link parameters produced by search

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Figure 8

Joint angles corresponding to the path generated in Fig. 7 by the designed linkage

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Figure 9

Crank displacement for gait timing

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Figure 10

Conceptual design of the linkage mechanism

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Figure 11

Conceptual design of the gait rehabilitation system

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Figure 12

Samples of the motion simulation of the gait rehabilitation system




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