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Development of a smart lower limb exoskeleton with innovative human machine interface and simulation in the loop for safe gait generation and foot pose planning

Grant number: 19/12284-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Electrical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Ribeiro Gudwin
Grantee:Victor Ferman
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Elétrica e de Computação (FEEC). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07559-3 - BRAINN - The Brazilian Institute of Neuroscience and Neurotechnology, AP.CEPID


The develop of exoskeletons for human performance augmentation and rehabilitation purposes has been addressed for a couple of decades. However, major gains in electronics, actuators, batteries have driven further advances in the field [Young & Ferris, 2017], increasing the capabilities and acceptance of the devices [Zeilig et al., 2005]. We are proposing a bottom-up method divided into 4 stages and having an innovative approach for the Human Machine Interface (HMI) and build it incrementally, in stages. In this way we can validate the aspects of the interface throughout the project. The first step consists in creating a computer model of the exoskeleton using a simulation software; with a design capable of walking safely using crutches for stability and as part of HMI and equipped with pressure sensors; then build the initial electromechanical structure. Second stage, we will analyze and develop the gaits to perform static walk using the data gather from the pressure sensors from the feet of the exoskeleton and each crutch plus the data from initial measurement units installed on the body of the user. Third, we create a 3D point cloud map, adding a stereographic camera and depth sensor on the torso of the user; we aim at using that point cloud map to analyze the environment and based on the information gathered from the system we generate the necessary gait. Fourth stage, develop of an innovative laser-based HMI. Using the aiming of a laser mounted in the head of the user and the inputs from the controls installed in the crutches, we generate the motion planning, path planning and foot pose positing, while the user is able to accept or reject and change the provided path. (AU)