Powered Lower-Limb Exoskeleton

The Development of a Powered Lower-Limb Exoskeleton for Gait Rehabilitation

The Vanderbilt Exoskeleton has been developed to provide gait assistance to the stroke and spinal cord injured (SCI) population. Clinical evaluations have validated its ability to restore legged mobility to individuals with impaired mobility, including the following functionalities: Walking, standing, sit-to-stand, stand-to-sit, stair ascent and descent, and functional electrical stimulation (FES).

The exoskeleton weighs 27 pounds and has been tested on users up to 200 pounds in weight. It uses onboard embedded microprocessors and sensors to determine the user's current state and intentions and provides joint torques at the hips and knees to generate motion.

The Vanderbilt Exoskeleton has been licensed to Parker-Hannifen and marketed as Indego. Research and development continues to explore new control strategies and implementations specifically for incomplete SCI.

 

prosthetic leg

Media

Vanderbilt Exoskeleton

 

Spinal Cord Injury User Demo

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Spinal Cord Injury User Demo

 

Here we see a SCI T10 ASIA A user demonstrate the sit-to-stand, walking, and stand-to-sit functionality.

FES Capabilities

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FES Capabilities

 

Hybrid exoskeletons use functional electrical stimulation (FES) in conjuction with robotic assistance. This enables the user to use their muscles in parallel with the robot during walking, which both improves the physiological benefits for the user and reduces the energy consumption of the robot.

Dynamic Walking

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Dynamic Walking

 

Our dynamic walking algorithm enables smooth initiation of steps through a combination of thigh tilt angle and angular acceleration. The result is a nearly seamless gait.

Spinal Cord Injury Control Demo

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Spinal Cord Injury Control Demo

 

The robot operates like a legged Segway, where leaning forward initiates gait, remaining upright maintains stance, and leaning back initiates sitting.

Publications

  • An Approach for the Cooperative Control of FES With a Powered Exoskeleton During Level Walking for Persons With Paraplegia, K. Ha, S. Murray, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2015 (Pending Publication). IEEE Xplore

  • An Assistive Control Approach for a Lower-Limb Exoskeleton to Facilitate Recovery of Walking following Stroke, S. Murray, K. Ha, C. Hartigan, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 23, no. 3, 2015. IEEE Xplore

  • A Preliminary Assessment of Legged Mobility Provided by a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Persons with Paraplegia, R. Farris, H. Quintero, K. Ha, C. Hartigan, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 22, no. 3, pp.482 - 490, 2014. IEEE Xplore

  • An assistive controller for a lower-limb exoskeleton for rehabilitation after stroke, and preliminary assessment thereof, S. Murray and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 4083-4086, August 2014. IEEE Xplore

  • Poster 19 Newly Developed Robotic Exoskeleton That Provides Mobility and Option for Functional Electrical Stimulation, C. Hartigan, M. Goldfarb, R. Farris, K. Ha, and S. Murray, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 94, no. 10, pp. e18-e19, 2013. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

  • Performance Evaluation of a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Stair Ascent and Descent with Paraplegia, R. Farris, H. Quintero, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 1908-1911, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • Towards the Use of a Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Locomotion Assistance in Individuals with Neuromuscular Locomotor Deficits, S. Murray and M. Goldfarb, 2012 IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 1912-1915, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • Preliminary Assessment of the Efficacy of Supplementing Knee Extension Capability in a Lower Limb Exoskeleton with FES, H. Quintero, R. Farris, K. Ha, and M. Goldfarb, 2012 IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 3360-3363, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • Enhancing the Stance Phase Propulsion during Level Walking by Combining FES with a Powered Exoskeleton for Persons with Paraplegia, K. Ha, H. Quintero, R. Farris, and M. Goldfarb, 2012 IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 344-347, August 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • A Method for the Autonomous Control of Lower Limb Exoskeletons for Persons with Paraplegia, H. Quintero, R. Farris, and M. Goldfarb, ASME Journal of Medical Devices, vol. 6, no. 4, 041003, 2012. ASME Digital Collection

  • Preliminary Evaluation of a Powered Lower Limb Orthosis to Aid Walking in Paraplegic Individuals, R. Farris, H. Quintero, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE/ASME Trans. on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 19, no. 6, pp.652-659, 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • A Powered Lower Limb Orthosis for Providing Legged Mobility in Paraplegic Individuals, H. Quintero, R. Farris, C. Hartigan, I. Clesson, and M. Goldfarb, Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, American Spinal Injury Association, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 25-33, Summer 2011. nih.gov [PDF]

  • Control and Implementation of a Powered Lower Limb Orthosis to Aid Walking in Paraplegic Individuals, R. Farris, H. Quintero, and M. Goldfarb, 2011 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp. 1-6, July 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Multi-Disc Electromechanical Brake, R. Farris and M. Goldfarb, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 985-993, 2011. IEEE Xplore

  • Feasibility of a Hybrid-FES System for Gait Restoration in Paraplegics, H. Quintero, R. Farris, W. Durfee, and M. Goldfarb, 2010 IEEE International Conference of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 483-486, September 2010. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Multi-Disc Electromechanical Modulated Dissipator, R. Farris and M. Goldfarb, 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2010. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Joint-Coupled Orthosis for FES-Aided Gait, R. Farris, H. Quintero, T. Withrow, and M. Goldfarb, 2009 IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, pp.246-252, June 2009. IEEE Xplore

  • Design and Simulation of a Joint-Coupled Orthosis for Regulating FES-Aided Gait, R. Farris, H. Quintero, T. Withrow, and M. Goldfarb, 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp.1916-1922, May 2009. IEEE Xplore