ALTACRO: Assessment of Human-Robot Interaction

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14 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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ALTACRO: Assessment of Human
Robot Interaction

Kristel Knaepen
, p
rof. dr.
Dirk Lefeber
, p
rof. dr.
Romain Meeusen

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Department of Human Physiology
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Robotics and Multibody Mechanics
Research Group
Vrije Universiteit Brussel,

Research Group of Advanced Rehabilitation Techonolgy and Science

In order for robotic exoskeletons to better assist humans, it is imperative to determine how humans
respond to mechanical assistance given by
exoskeletons. The human response is a key aspect that
determines the success of the exoskeleton. Until now, few studi
es have actually measured human
adaptation and neurophysiological responses to robotic
assisted walking. In a first study the emphasi
was focused

on researching the safety and adaptability of the KNEXO

(i.e., a

unilateral single
exoskeleton that can supply mechanical knee flexion/extension assistance during treadmill walking
. We
used this prototype to study the effects of compli
ant human
robot interaction on kinematics and muscle
activity during gait in healthy subjects and in a subject with multiple sclerosis (MS).
A second study

on new methods to measure the neurophysiological aspects, i.e. cortical activity, of treadmi
walking in order to use these new techniques to study the cortical aspects of motor adaptation to
assisted treadmill walking. Up to now, measuring cortical activity during walking (as opposed to
imaginary walking, gait initiation or lower limb m
ovements) has been challenging due to upper limb and
head movements. The use of active electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes combined with data
cleaning (i.e., ICA) and source localization techniques (sLORETA) could counteract these challenges and
for the assessment of brain activity during complex movements such as treadmill walking.
Moreover, it is important to understand and know the cortical representation of regular treadmill
walking before studying locomotor adaptation to robot
assisted walkin
The third study integrated

knowledge gathered in the first two studies and looks at kinematics, muscle and cortical correlates of
motor adaptation during robot
assisted treadmill walking. More specifically, motor adaptation to
different parameter se
ttings of the robotic contro
l system has been investigated.
The fourth study
further integrates the previous studies by researching the kinematics and cortical correlates of robot
assisted treadmill walking in healthy subjects in a complete automated lower

limb orthosis (i.e.,
LOKOMAT) instead of a unilateral device. Depending on the amount of assistance given by the device,
we expect to different cortical areas to be involved in the process of treadmill walking.