Soft artificial tactile sensors for the measurement of human-robot interaction in the rehabilitation of the lower limb.

S. M. De Rossi, N. Vitiello, T. Lenzi, R. Ronsse, B. Koopman, A. Persichetti, F. Giovacchini, F. Vecchi, A. J. Ijspeert, H. van der Kooij, M. C. Carrozza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A new and alternative method to measure the interaction force between the user and a lower-limb gait rehabilitation exoskeleton is presented. Instead of using a load cell to measure the resulting interaction force, we propose a distributed measure of the normal interaction pressure over the whole contact area between the user and the machine. To obtain this measurement, a soft silicone tactile sensor is inserted between the limb and commonly used connection cuffs. The advantage of this approach is that it allows for a distributed measure of the interaction pressure, which could be useful for rehabilitation therapy assessment purposes, or for control. Moreover, the proposed solution does not change the comfort of the interaction; can be applied to connection cuffs of different shapes and sizes; and can be manufactured at a low cost. Preliminary results during gait assistance tasks show that this approach can precisely detect changes in the pressure distribution during a gait cycle.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics

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