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Experimental studies on the human gait using a tethered pelvic assist device (T-PAD)

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3 Author(s)
Vashista, V. ; Sch. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA ; Mustafa, S.K. ; Agrawal, S.K.

This paper presents the prototype of a novel tethered pelvic assist device (T-PAD). This is a purely passive device, consisting of a set of elastic tethers with one end attached to a hip brace worn by a subject walking on a treadmill, and the other end attached to a fixed frame surrounding the subject. T-PAD offers the flexibility of varying the assistance required on the pelvis by changing the configuration of the tether attachment locations, number of tethers and tether elasticity. Experimental studies were conducted using a full and a partial pelvic constraint configuration of T-PAD, with varying tether elasticity. The studies were aimed at observing the effect of T-PAD on the human gait. Results show that T-PAD reduced the range-of-motion for the pelvic angles with increase of tether elasticity. However, it had mixed effects on the range-of-motion of the hip angles, but negligible effect on the knee and ankle joint angles. Overall, T-PAD shows potential as a low-cost pelvic support device with pelvic motion control capabilities, and can work in tandem with existing gait trainers.

Published in:

Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR), 2011 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

June 29 2011-July 1 2011