Improving the Standing Balance of Paraplegics through the Use of a Wearable Exoskeleton

Amber Emmens, Edwin Van Asseldonk, Marcella Masciullo, Matteo Arquilla, Iolanda Pisotta, Nevio Luigi Tagliamonte, Federica Tamburella, Marco Molinari, Herman Van Der Kooij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In this study, our goal was to improve the standing balance of people with a spinal cord injury by using a wearable exoskeleton that has ankle and knee actuation in the sagittal plane. Three test-pilots that have an incomplete spinal cord injury wore the exoskeleton and tried to maintain standing balance without stepping while receiving anteroposterior pushes. Two balance controllers were tested: One providing assistance based on the subject's body sway and one based on the whole body momentum. For both controllers, the balance performances of the test-pilots wearing the exoskeleton were assessed based on the center of mass kinematics and compared to the condition in which the device did not provide any assistance. One of the test-pilots was not able to maintain balance without assistance, but could withstand small pushes when any of the balance controllers was implemented. For this test-pilot the recovery time and sway amplitude hardly varied with the type of balance controller that was used. For the other two test-pilots the recovery time and the sway amplitude were smallest using the body sway controller. In conclusion, the wearable exoskeleton with balance controller was able to improve the balance performance of the test-pilots by reducing the recovery time after a perturbation and by enabling one of the test-pilots to maintain balance, who could not maintain balance by himself.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages707-712
Number of pages6
Volume2018-August
ISBN (Electronic)9781538681831
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2018
Event7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018 - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: Aug 26 2018Aug 29 2018

Conference

Conference7th IEEE RAS/EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, BIOROB 2018
CountryNetherlands
CityEnschede
Period8/26/188/29/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Emmens, A., Van Asseldonk, E., Masciullo, M., Arquilla, M., Pisotta, I., Tagliamonte, N. L., Tamburella, F., Molinari, M., & Van Der Kooij, H. (2018). Improving the Standing Balance of Paraplegics through the Use of a Wearable Exoskeleton. In BIOROB 2018 - 7th IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (Vol. 2018-August, pp. 707-712). [8488066] IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/BIOROB.2018.8488066