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This paper proposes a new control approach for an active (motorized) robotic walking support system based on passive behavior concept. The control approach aims to enhance the interaction between the support system and the user. The passive behavior of a support system allows the user to safely interact with the system since it removes the system's capability to move when there is no user's intention. This passive behavior is realized using imposed apparent dynamics, which uses the user's intention represented by the applied force/torque to derive the system's desired motion. The control approach is extended into a user-oriented motion control algorithm to adapt user's controlling characteristics. This is implemented by varying the point of application of the apparent dynamics. The control approach is further extended to use environment information and realize environment feedback concept. This is implemented by varying the parameters of the apparent dynamics based on environment data. Experimental results are presented to show the validity of the proposed control approach. [All rights reserved Elsevier].
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007