Design of lower limb rehabilitation system using Pneumatic Air Muscle

Design of lower limb rehabilitation system using Pneumatic Air Muscle

  • Leg up.png

    2134KB

    2022/06/07

  • Leg down.png

    2080KB

    2022/06/07

  • IMG20220511120650.jpg

    3822KB

    2022/06/07

Description

Project description:

There are over 13.7 million new strokes each year in which 50% are affected by motor disabilities and 70% people can be recovered by proper rehabilitation therapies. As manual rehabilitation exercise requires trained therapists, so there is a need for rehabilitation robots which can be automated to restore the movement ability of hemiplegic patients. Most of the rehab robots adopt motors as actuators which are very rigid and lack compliance when getting in touch with patients. So, we have decided to design and develop a prototype of variable speed driving mechanism using pneumatic air muscles which are soft, flexible and works similar to human muscle that can be positioned according to the requirements, for the purpose of lower limb rehabilitation.


Results and discussions:

  • Motion analyses were conducted using Autodesk Fusion 360 to arrive at possible driving mechanisms. Compliant knee rehabilitation robot in this project work is realized by employing pneumatic air muscle actuator as the power source.
  • The pneumatic muscle is characterized for the working condition of 1 to 5 kg loads by varying pressure from 2 to 8 bar and the corresponding hysteresis phenomenon was studied. The prototype was made according to the anthropometry data of 73 kg person.
  • Prototype was manufactured, assembled and the driving mechanism was set to continuous motion using Arduino and Relay module. The entire setup was numerically validated, the accelerating torque and rotation speed was calculated.
  • From the numerical analysis, the max stress was found to be less than the yield strength of the material. Hence the design was validated.
  • A relationship between Flow rate, Time taken and Angle of rotation was arrived from the experimental validation, from which one can set the necessary flow rate depending upon the patient’s impairment to achieve the necessary angle of rotation at the right pace.
  • By observing the data retrieved from passive rehabilitation experiments, only 0.26 % decrease in angle of rotation was observed while actual testing with human leg. Since this change is negligible, it can be concluded that there was no major change in the angle of rotation with respect to the flow rate for similar loading condition thereby effectiveness of the prototype was validated.
  • From this research it can be concluded that this prototype design driven by pneumatic air muscle not only offers simplicity but also functions effectively with minimal number of parts, can be easily transported from one place to another. Whereas the existing rehabilitation systems driven by servo motors are composed of rigid structures and are costly for conducting rehabilitation sessions.
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Bharath R K
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

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