Exoskeleton robot control for synchronous walking assistance in repetitive manual handling works based on dual unscented Kalman filter

Sado, Fatai and Yap, Hwa Jen and Ghazilla, Raja Ariffin Raja and Ahmad, Norhafizan (2018) Exoskeleton robot control for synchronous walking assistance in repetitive manual handling works based on dual unscented Kalman filter. PLoS ONE, 13 (7). e0200193. ISSN 1932-6203, DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200193.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200193


Prolong walking is a notable risk factor for work-related lower-limb disorders (WRLLD) in industries such as agriculture, construction, service profession, healthcare and retail works. It is one of the common causes of lower limb fatigue or muscular exhaustion leading to poor balance and fall. Exoskeleton technology is seen as a modern strategy to assist worker’s in these professions to minimize or eliminate the risk of WRLLDs. Exoskeleton has potentials to benefit workers in prolong walking (amongst others) by augmenting their strength, increasing their endurance, and minimizing high muscular activation, resulting in overall work efficiency and productivity. Controlling exoskeleton to achieve this purpose for able-bodied personnel without impeding their natural movement is, however, challenging. In this study, we propose a control strategy that integrates a Dual Unscented Kalman Filter (DUKF) for trajectory generation/prediction of the spatio-temporal features of human walking (i.e. joint position, and velocity, and acceleration) and an impedance cum supervisory controller to enable the exoskeleton to follow this trajectory to synchronize with the human walking. Experiment is conducted with four subjects carrying a load and walking at their normal speed- a typical scenario in industries. EMG signals taken at two muscles: Right Vastus Intermedius (on the thigh) and Right Gastrocnemius (on the calf) indicated reduction in muscular activation during the experiment. The results also show the ability of the control system to predict spatio-temporal features of the pilots’ walking and to enable the exoskeleton to move in concert with the pilot.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya under RU Operation Grant (RU016-2016), Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Malaysia under Grant UM.C/625/1/HIR/ MOHE/ENG/41
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult; Algorithms; Biomechanical Phenomena; Computer Simulation; Equipment Design; Exoskeleton Device; Gait; Humans; Leg; Male; Models, Biological; Monte Carlo Method; Muscle, Skeletal; Occupational Injuries; Occupations; Walking; Young Adult
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2019 07:36
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2019 07:36
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/20836

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