|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 25|
Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.
This study presents new gait representations for improving gait recognition accuracy on cross gait appearances, such as normal walking, wearing a coat and carrying a bag. Based on the Gait Energy Image (GEI), two ideas are implemented to generate new gait representations. One is to append lower knee regions to the original GEI, and the other is to apply convolutional operations to the GEI and its variants. A set of new gait representations are created and used for training multi-class Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Tests are conducted on the CASIA dataset B. Various combinations of the gait representations with different convolutional kernel size and different numbers of kernels used in the convolutional processes are examined. Both the entire images as features and reduced dimensional features by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) are tested in gait recognition. Interestingly, both new techniques, appending the lower knee regions to the original GEI and convolutional GEI, can significantly contribute to the performance improvement in the gait recognition. The experimental results have shown that the average recognition rate can be improved from 75.65% to 87.50%.
The accelerations generated by the shoes in the body should be known in order to prevent balance problems, degradation of body shape and to spend less energy. In this study, it is aimed to investigate the effects of the shoe heel height on the human body. The working group has been created as five women (range 27-32 years) with different characteristics and five shoes with different heel heights (1, 3.5, 5, 7 and 9 cm). Individuals in the study group wore shoes and walked along a 20-meter racecourse. The accelerations created by the shoes are measured in three axes (30.270 accelerometric data) and analyzed. Results show us that; while walking with high-heeled shoes, the foot is lifted more; in this case, more effort has been spent. So, more weight has occurred at ankles and joints. Since high-heeled shoes cause greater acceleration, women wearing high-heeled shoes tend to pay more attention when taking a step. As a result, for foot and body health, shoe heel must be designed to absorb the reaction from the ground. High heels disrupt the structure of the foot and it is damaging the body shape. In this respect, this study is considered to be a remarkable method to find of effect of high-heeled shoes on gait by using accelerometer in the literature.
In this study, an experimental approach is established to assess the performance of different beams coupled to a Voice Coil Motor (VCM) with the aim to maximize mechanically the energy harvesting in the inductive transducer that is included on it. The VCM is extracted from a recycled hard disk drive (HDD) and it is adapted for carrying out experimental tests of energy harvesting. Two individuals were selected for walking with the VCM-beam device as well as to evaluate the performance varying two parameters in the beam; length of the beams and a mass addition. Results show that the energy harvesting is maximized with specific beams; however, the harvesting efficiency is improved when a mass is added to the end of the beams.
This paper describes an ab-initio design, development and calibration results of an Optical Sensor Ground Reaction Force Measurement Platform (OSGRFP) for gait and geriatric studies. The developed system employs an array of FBG sensors to measure the respective ground reaction forces from all three axes (X, Y and Z), which are perpendicular to each other. The novelty of this work is two folded. One is in its uniqueness to resolve the tri axial resultant forces during the stance in to the respective pure axis loads and the other is the applicability of inherently advantageous FBG sensors which are most suitable for biomechanical instrumentation. To validate the response of the FBG sensors installed in OSGRFP and to measure the cross sensitivity of the force applied in other directions, load sensors with indicators are used. Further in this work, relevant mathematical formulations are presented for extracting respective ground reaction forces from wavelength shifts/strain of FBG sensors on the OSGRFP. The result of this device has implications in understanding the foot function, identifying issues in gait cycle and measuring discrepancies between left and right foot. The device also provides a method to quantify and compare relative postural stability of different subjects under test, which has implications in post-surgical rehabilitation, geriatrics and optimizing training protocols for sports personnel.
Precise capture of plantar 3D surface of the foot at the loading gait phases on rigid substrates was found to be valuable for the assessment of the physiology, health and problems of the feet. Photogrammetry, a precision 3D spatial data capture technique is suitable for this type of dynamic application. In this research, the technique is utilised to study the plantar deformation as a result of having a strip of kinesiology tape on the plantar surface during the loading phase of gait. For this pilot study, one healthy adult male subject was recruited under the University’s human research ethics guidelines for this preliminary study. The 3D plantar deformation data with and without applying the tape were analysed. The results and analyses are presented together with detailed findings.
In this research work, neural networks were applied to classify two types of hip joint implants based on the relative hip joint implant side speed and three components of each ground reaction force. The condition of walking gait at normal velocity was used and carried out with each of the two hip joint implants assessed. Ground reaction forces’ kinetic temporal changes were considered in the first approach followed but discarded in the second one. Ground reaction force components were obtained from eighteen patients under such gait condition, half of which had a hip implant type I-II, whilst the other half had the hip implant, defined as type III by Orthoload®. After pre-processing raw gait kinetic data and selecting the time frames needed for the analysis, the ground reaction force components were used to train a MLP neural network, which learnt to distinguish the two hip joint implants in the abovementioned condition. Further to training, unknown hip implant side and ground reaction force components were presented to the neural networks, which assigned those features into the right class with a reasonably high accuracy for the hip implant type I-II and the type III. The results suggest that neural networks could be successfully applied in the performance assessment of hip joint implants.
The purpose of the research is to investigate the energetic feature of the backpack load on soldier’s gait with variation of the trunk flexion angle. It is believed that the trunk flexion variation of the loaded gait may cause a significant difference in the energy cost which is often in practice in daily life. To this end, seven healthy Korea military personnel participated in the experiment and are tested under three different walking postures comprised of the small, natural and large trunk flexion. There are around 5 degree differences of waist angle between each trunk flexion. The ground reaction forces were collected from the force plates and motion kinematic data are measured by the motion capture system. Based on these data, the impulses, momentums and mechanical works done on the center of body mass (COM) during the double support phase were computed. The result shows that the push-off and heel strike impulse are not relevant to the trunk flexion change, however the mechanical work by the push-off and heel strike were changed by the trunk flexion variation. It is because the vertical velocity of the COM during the double support phase is increased significantly with an increase in the trunk flexion. Therefore, we can know that the gait efficiency of the loaded gait depends on the trunk flexion angle. Also, even though the gravitational impulse and pre-collision momentum are changed by the trunk flexion variation, the after-collision momentum is almost constant regardless of the trunk flexion variation.
Young patients suffering from Cerebral Palsy are facing difficult choices concerning heavy surgeries. Diagnosis settled by surgeons can be complex and on the other hand decision for patient about getting or not such a surgery involves important reflection effort. Proposed software combining prediction for surgeries and post surgery kinematic values, and from 3D model representing the patient is an innovative tool helpful for both patients and medicine professionals. Beginning with analysis and classification of kinematics values from Data Base extracted from gait analysis in 3 separated clusters, it is possible to determine close similarity between patients. Prediction surgery best adapted to improve a patient gait is then determined by operating a suitable preconditioned neural network. Finally, patient 3D modeling based on kinematic values analysis, is animated thanks to post surgery kinematic vectors characterizing the closest patient selected from patients clustering.
The method of gait identification based on the nearest neighbor classification technique with motion similarity assessment by the dynamic time warping is proposed. The model based kinematic motion data, represented by the joints rotations coded by Euler angles and unit quaternions is used. The different pose distance functions in Euler angles and quaternion spaces are considered. To evaluate individual features of the subsequent joints movements during gait cycle, joint selection is carried out. To examine proposed approach database containing 353 gaits of 25 humans collected in motion capture laboratory is used. The obtained results are promising. The classifications, which takes into consideration all joints has accuracy over 91%. Only analysis of movements of hip joints allows to correctly identify gaits with almost 80% precision.
Gait disturbance, particularly freezing of gait (FOG), is a phenomenon that is common in Parkinson’s patients and significantly contributes to a loss of function and independence. Walking performance and number of freezing episodes have been known to respond favorably to sensory cues of different modalities. However, a topic that has so far barely been touched is how to resolve freezing episodes via sensory cues once they have appeared. In this study, we analyze the effect of five different sensory cues on the duration of freezing episodes: (1) vibratory alert, (2) auditory alert, (3) vibratory rhythm, (4) auditory rhythm, (5) visual cue in form of parallel lines projected to the floor. The motivation for this study is to investigate the possibility of the design of a gait assistive device for Parkinson’s patients. Test subjects were 7 Parkinson’s patients regularly suffering from FOG. The patients had to repeatedly walk a pre-defined course and cues were triggered always 2 s after freezing onset. The effect was analyzed via experimental measurements and patient interviews. The measurements showed that all 5 sensory cues led to a decrease of the average duration of freezing: baseline (7.9s), vibratory alert (7.1s), auditory alert (6.7s), auditory rhythm (6.4s), vibratory rhythm (6.3s), and visual cue (5.3s). Nevertheless, interestingly, patients subjectively evaluated the audio alert and vibratory signals to have a significantly better effect for reducing their freezing duration than the visual cue.
In this paper we propose a novel approach for ascertaining human identity based on fusion of profile face and gait biometric cues The identification approach based on feature learning in PCA-LDA subspace, and classification using multivariate Bayesian classifiers allows significant improvement in recognition accuracy for low resolution surveillance video scenarios. The experimental evaluation of the proposed identification scheme on a publicly available database  showed that the fusion of face and gait cues in joint PCA-LDA space turns out to be a powerful method for capturing the inherent multimodality in walking gait patterns, and at the same time discriminating the person identity..
This paper proposes a method of adaptively generating a gait pattern of biped robot. The gait synthesis is based on human's gait pattern analysis. The proposed method can easily be applied to generate the natural and stable gait pattern of any biped robot. To analyze the human's gait pattern, sequential images of the human's gait on the sagittal plane are acquired from which the gait control values are extracted. The gait pattern of biped robot on the sagittal plane is adaptively generated by a genetic algorithm using the human's gait control values. However, gait trajectories of the biped robot on the sagittal plane are not enough to construct the complete gait pattern because the biped robot moves on 3-dimension space. Therefore, the gait pattern on the frontal plane, generated from Zero Moment Point (ZMP), is added to the gait one acquired on the sagittal plane. Consequently, the natural and stable walking pattern for the biped robot is obtained.