Design of an Unpowered Ankle-Foot Exoskeleton Used for Walking Assistance
Enhance human walking and running is much more difficult compared to build a machine to help someone with disability. Unpowered ankle-foot exoskeletons are the current development trend due to their lightweight, wearable, and energy-free features, but the huge recognition and energy control system still affects their practicability. To refine the recognition and control system, we designed an unpowered soft ankle-foot exoskeleton with a purely mechanical self-adaptiveness clutch, which can
... ze the collection and release of energy according to different gait stage. Through switching and closing of this clutch, energy is collected when the ankle is doing negative work and released when the ankle is doing positive work. Results shows the unpowered ankle-foot exoskeleton at the stiffness of 12000 N/m could relieve muscles' load, with reduction of force by 52.3 % and 5.2%, and of power by 44.2% and 7.0%, respectively for soleus and gastrocnemius in simulation.Clinical Relevance-The proposed Unpowered Ankle-Foot Exoskeleton can both reduce muscle forces and powers. Hence, it can be used to assist walking of the elderly, others with neurocognitive disorders or leg diseases.